Lukaku completes return to Inter on loan from Chelsea

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MILAN (AP) — Romelu Lukaku will again look to revive his career back in Italy after completing a sensational return to Inter Milan on a one-year loan deal, just 10 months after joining Chelsea for $135 million as the seventh most expensive soccer player ever at the time.

It’s a remarkable piece of business by Inter, which is reportedly paying Chelsea 8 million euros ($8.4 million) — plus up to 2 million euros in team-related bonuses — for Lukaku. The 29-year-old forward will go down as one of the biggest transfer flops in Premier League history and reportedly took a pay cut to secure his return to Italy after a miserable second spell at Chelsea.

The move will see Lukaku link up again with Inter forward Lautaro Martínez in a formidable partnership that was dubbed “LuLa” by the Italian media.

“I'm very happy,” Lukaku said in a video taken by Inter president Steven Zhang and posted on the club's social media on Wednesday.

“That's what I'm here for,” Lukaku replied when asked by Zhang if he was going to score a lot of goals

Lukaku scored 47 goals in 72 appearances in Serie A in his two previous seasons with Inter and helped the Nerazzurri win the league in 2021 for the first time in 11 years.

However, struggling financially, Inter needed to trim its wage bill and make a profit in the transfer market and so Lukaku was sold to Chelsea last August in a record transfer fee for the English club.

But Lukaku looked far from the striker who struck fear into the heart of defenses during his time in Italy. He scored just eight goals in 26 Premier League appearances and was also dropped at the start of this year after giving an interview in which he said he was “not happy with the situation” at Chelsea and indicated he didn’t like coach Thomas Tuchel’s style of play.

It remains to be seen how Lukaku will do under Inter coach Simone Inzaghi. Antonio Conte was coach during Lukaku’s previous spell at the club and the Belgium international thrived under him, renewing his confidence and scoring touch after a disappointing period at Manchester United.

Inter finished second to city rival AC Milan last season but won the Italian Cup and Italian Super Cup.

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The Associated Press

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