Romelu Lukaku yearning for Italy and Chelsea star could push for Inter return

Romelu Lukaku will eye a return to Italy sooner rather than later if he doest not live up to expectations at Chelsea.

Lukaku, 28, has so far only scored five goals in 16 appearances in all competitions.

However, only one of those has come in his last 12 outings as his form takes a dip.

The Belgian, who cost Chelsea £97.5million from Inter Milan, has had some bad luck since returning to Stamford Bridge.

First with an ankle injury and now with Covid disrupting his season.

But sources close to the player believe he is still yearning for life in Italy, where he helped Antonio Conte’s Inter to last season’s Serie A title with a prolific campaign in front of goal, reports MirrorOnline.

A year ago, Lukaku had already scored 14 goals in the league and Champions League, and he went on to end the campaign with 30 goals.

That was on the back of 34 goals in the previous season in all competitions for his club.

Lukaku’s agent, Federico Pastorello, spoke last week to reporters in Italy and told them: “One day we will see Lukaku back in Serie A, because he loves Italy.

“But now it’s time for Chelsea to enjoy Romelu.”

And while Lukaku is contracted to the Blues until 2026, sources close to the player believe he will be open to a return before then.

His boss, Thomas Tuchel, revealed prior to the 1-1 draw with Everton in midweek that Lukaku was fit enough to start and play 70 minutes, although he subsequently tested positive for Covid.

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But Tuchel also gave an honest assessment that, during Lukaku’s absence, there had been more intensity in his side.

Since his return, Lukaku has started only one of five matches and against Leeds last Saturday he didn’t come on until 87 minutes.

Tuchel said: “We did not bring him to play on special occasions. We brought him in for consistency but, like it or not, there is adaptation still going on.

“When he was out injured we were playing well. We were scoring. We put the intensity level up.

“If you play in England or Italy it’s a very, very different game.

“And then it was about fitness. In training, he was protecting himself, not with full trust in the ankle.

“Even if he would never admit it, I could see it.”

There was a feeling in the Belgium squad during this season’s get-together’s that Lukaku was not as happy as he had been while with Inter and Chelsea must hope that soon he starts to feel at home.

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