Chelsea have Lukaku ‘regret’ as Inter Milan star eyes Champions League final

Chelsea caretaker manager Frank Lampard reviews Bournemouth game

Chelsea are said to ‘regret’ allowing Romelu Lukaku leave to join Inter Milan on loan this summer for a minimal fee, wishing that they negotiated further. The striker is set to line up for the Serie A side in the Champions League semi-finals on Wednesday, facing off against fierce rivals AC Milan.

Lukaku has been at the heart of talks at Stamford Bridge recently due to the Blues’ lack of a focal point. Chelsea have desperately missed having an out and out No 9, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang the only natural available forward for the majority of the campaign.

Raheem Sterling, Kai Havertz and Joao Felix have all attempted to fill the void in the final third, though with limited success and there is speculation that Chelsea are hopeful of reintegrating Lukaku back into the squad when the campaign concludes.

Mauricio Pochettino, if appointed, will have the final say on the Belgium international’s future and would like the opportunity to sound out bringing him back to Stamford Bridge. If unsuccessful, Chelsea are likely to cut their losses on the striker and raise funds for other striker targets – such as Victor Osimhen.

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Lukaku’s loan back to Inter has enabled the ex-Manchester United star to get his career back on track following an underwhelming return to the club in 2021, scoring 10 in 29 appearances so far this season. Though Chelsea aren’t overly happy with the deal still, with The Athletic reporting that they regret allowing the forward to leave for a minimal price.

The Blues received £6.9million for the season-long loan, a fee that has been described as ‘relatively paltry’. In comparison, Chelsea forked out £9.7m to sign Felix on loan from Atletico Madrid in January, so the cost of a shorter loan was not covered by Lukaku’s move.

Lukaku could highlight why the Blues need to retain his services on Wednesday against AC Milan in what will be an incredibly heated contest. Speaking after Inter’s recent win over Roma, in which the 29-year-old scored, the ex-Everton told DAZN: “Today we also saw our maturity, which is how we brought the game home.

“Now we have to recover and from tomorrow will start to prepare for the match against Milan. Inter is the most important thing. All I need to focus on is helping the team.” Inter could push to sign Lukaku permanently, again, at the end of the season and a swap deal may be on the table given that Chelsea are admirers of some of their stars – such as Lautaro Martinez.

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