Serie A giants AC Milan are reportedly interested in a move for Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku, according to the latest reports…
What’s the word?
As per Goal, the San Siro outfit are keen to offer the Belgian marksman an ‘escape route’ out of west London, albeit with the move set to be ‘complicated by the sheer cost’ of the Blues’ club-record signing.
A £97.5m arrival last summer, it is believed that even a slight reduction on that figure – with the player currently valued at roughly £77m as per the report – would still be too costly for Stefano Pioli’s side, particularly when factoring in his mammoth £325k-per-week wages.
The report does, however, suggest that any incoming new owner may sanction a sale at a lower market price in order to ensure a clean slate for Thomas Tuchel, while the buying party may also be boosted by a new takeover themselves, in the form of a Bahrain-based investment group.
Hasn’t worked out
It would seemingly prove a contentious deal were the 28-year-old to join his former rivals, having spent the last two seasons thriving at Inter Milan, although he certainly wouldn’t be the first high profile figure to don both jerseys, with enigmatic Swede Zlatan Ibrahimovic having done so, as well as Il Fenomeno, Ronaldo.
In truth, despite the possible controversy of the switch, the 101-cap international appears to be desperate to end his Stamford Bridge hell, with reports in recent months suggesting he was unhappy in his second spell at the club.
From his bombshell interview in December with Sky Italia – for which he was dubbed “disrespectful” by Sky Sports pundit Graeme Souness – to his record-breaking seven-touch display against Crystal Palace back in February, nothing has appeared to go right for the former Manchester United man this season.
After bagging 64 goals in 95 games over the last two campaigns in Italy, he has since netted just 12 times so far this term – including just five Premier League goals – with such a measly tally not the return that was expected after he had initially thrived on debut against Arsenal back in August.
Following that strong early form he was dubbed “world-class” by his current boss, although the two men now appear to have something of a fractious relationship, amid reports of a falling out between the pair earlier this season.
Whether that is accurate or not, the £76.5m-rated man has clearly slid down the pecking order under the former Paris Saint-Germain boss, with his recent start against the Gunners on Wednesday night having come as something of a surprise, as it was his first in the Premier League since February.
While the defence were largely to blame for the eventual 4-2 mauling at the hands of Mikel Arteta’s side, Lukaku himself did little to take his chance on what was a rare top-flight outing, failing to register a single shot on target and making just 22 touches, as per SofaScore, before being hooked on the hour mark.
That display has led to fierce criticism from fans and pundits alike, with club legend Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink insisting that the one-time Everton many simply “doesn’t run”, while talkSPORT pundit Dean Saunders suggested that the forward had “just given up”.
Such stinging criticism reflects what has been a become a sour Chelsea homecoming for the Antwerp-born brute, with it best for all parties that they sever ties this summer.