Romelu Lukaku is set to hold talks with Chelsea’s new head coach to determine his future at the end of the season, sources have told ESPN.
Lukaku has spent the season on loan at Inter Milan and the Serie A side have no plans to pursue a permanent agreement.
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Inter paid an initial loan fee of €8 million to bring Lukaku back to the San Siro last summer and sources have told ESPN that there is no option or obligation for a permanent transfer contained within the deal.
Lukaku is reportedly keen on staying in Italy but a fresh loan or transfer would have to be negotiated and before any such move, the striker is expected back at Stamford Bridge to discuss whether he has a future under the new boss, still widely expected to be Mauricio Pochettino.
Chelsea signed Lukaku from Inter almost two years ago for €115m and he is under contract until 2026.
It is unclear at this stage whether Pochettino would want to keep Lukaku or attempt to offload him to help trim a bloated squad which already stands at 31 first-team players before those on loan return to London.
Chelsea are under a degree of financial pressure to generate revenue through player departures having spent around £600m on transfers since Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital completed their takeover of the club last summer.
Lukaku’s relationship with Chelsea fans is also strained despite apologising to supporters in January 2022 after criticising the club and former boss Thomas Tuchel in an unsanctioned interview with Sky Italia.
He has scored 10 goals in 30 games for Inter this season, who are eyeing a Champions League final spot after winning the first leg of their semifinal against city rivals AC Milan in midweek.
Chelsea are continuing talks with Pochettino over succeeding Graham Potter, who was sacked in April after less than seven months in charge. Caretaker boss Frank Lampard is expected to remain in post until the end of the season.