Romelu Lukaku’s Chelsea shirt number ‘leaked’ with dream digits unavailable
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Romelu Lukaku will be reunited with his old Chelsea shirt number after moving to Stamford Bridge for the second time.
The Blues confirmed the signing of the 28-year-old on Thursday evening after agreeing a club record fee of £97.5million to re-sign their former striker from Inter Milan.
Lukaku, whose cumulative transfer fees now total £284.5million, technically making him the world's most expensive player, returns to west London seven years after leaving the club.
He joined Everton in 2014 before spells at Manchester United and Inter Milan, where last season he fired Antonio Conte's side to their first Serie A title in a decade.
Lukaku wore the No. 9 shirt for Inter and the Red Devils, while he made the No 10. shirt his own during his four seasons with Everton.
However, neither of those squad numbers are available at Stamford Bridge, with Tammy Abraham owning No. 9 and Christian Pulisic No. 10.
As a result, the Belgian hitman looks set to wear the No. 18 shirt for the Blues – the same number he was given after he joined the club from Anderlecht in 2011.
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The striker's shirt number has yet to be officially confirmed by Chelsea, but the Premier League's website has dropped a massive hint that Lukaku will indeed don the number once again.
Their website has listed Lukaku as No. 18, with the jersey most recently worn by Olivier Giroud before his switch to AC Milan earlier this summer.
However, Belgium's top scorer could yet be reunited with the No. 9 he wore during his time at United as Chelsea are yet to officially announce his squad number.
The number currently belongs to Abraham, but his days at Stamford Bridge appear to be numbered with Arsenal, West Ham, Aston Villa and Roma all interested in his services.
If the 23-year-old does depart this summer, his shirt number will become available, paving the way for Lukaku to claim it as his own.
In the meantime, Lukaku is looking forward to his second spell in west London.
He told the club's website: "It’s been a long journey for me: I came here as a kid who had a lot to learn, now I’m coming back with a lot of experience and more mature.
"The relationship I have with this club means so much to me, as you know. I have supported Chelsea as a kid and now to be back and try to help them win more titles is an amazing feeling.
"The way the club is going fits my ambitions perfectly at 28 and just coming off winning Serie A. I think this opportunity comes at the right time and hopefully we can have a lot of success together."
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