Serie A side Inter Milan are reportedly keen on bringing Romelu Lukaku back to Italy, amid his ongoing struggles in his second spell at Chelsea.
What’s the word?
According to Calciomercato, the reigning Italian champions are said to be keen on a reunion with the Belgian powerhouse, despite having only allowed the former Everton man to depart the San Siro just last summer.
The report suggests that Simone Inzaghi’s side would even be keen on a loan deal to rescue the 101-cap forward from his current Stamford Bridge hell, with the 28-year-old having previously been in electric form during his two-year spell in Milan, netting 64 goals in just 95 appearances in all competitions and helping the club clinch a much-coveted Scudetto last term.
That form piqued the Blues’ interest – leading to his £97.5m return to west London back in August – although he has since endured a difficult second-coming under Thomas Tuchel, having scored a measly tally of five league goals so far this season, while he also grabbed the headlines last month after recording a league record-low of just seven touches in 90 minutes against Crystal Palace.
A Chance for Broja?
It may damage the pride of the club’s hierarchy to so swiftly move on their £325k-per-week asset, although at present it would seem that the reported Paris Saint-Germain target does not fit into the manager’s plans, having failed to feature from the start in the Premier League since mid-February.
Lukaku’s woes have been somewhat self-inflicted, however, with his bombshell interview to Sky Italia back in December leading to widespread criticism – notably from club legend Jimmy Flloyd Hasselbaink who dubbed him “disrespectful” – after he admitted he was “not happy” with his current situation, while he also teased a potential Inter return.
Recent reports have suggested he remains unhappy back in England – amid rumours of a falling out with his new boss – with Tuchel seemingly favouring Champions League final hero Kai Havertz in a false nine role.
Should the one-time Manchester United man – who was labelled “lazy” by former Toffees fitness coach Jan Kluitenberg – depart this summer, it could well mean a significant opportunity being handed out to young Armando Broja, the 20-year-old Albania international having shone on loan at Southampton so far this term.
In what is his debut top-flight campaign, the Slough-born starlet has already netted six league goals for Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side – more than Chelsea’s current number nine – with that sparkling form sparking reported interest from ‘Big Six’ rivals Arsenal, among others.
Speaking about his performances this campaign, the Saints boss waxed lyrical about his ability and threat in the final third.
“He’s a great threat. He didn’t have many poor games this season so today he showed again how dangerous he can be for the opponent and he’s very helpful for our game,” he told the BBC after a 4-1 win over Brentford this year.
Having already moved on Tammy Abraham to Roma in order to help facilitate Lukaku’s arrival last summer, it would seemingly not be wise to once again allow the more senior man’s presence to harm the chances of an exciting academy graduate, who has been dubbed “a very good player” by Blues icon – and former boss – Frank Lampard.
The £34m-rated gem’s displays at international level also caught the eye of Spain head coach Luis Enrique this week, with the hungry Albanian youngster seemingly ready to be unleashed back at his parent club next term.
Tuchel could now finally axe the expensive flop in favour of promoting, and unleashing, Broja into his first-team setup ahead of next season.
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