Chelsea Preparing $154M Bid For Serie A Winner After Initial Offer Turned Down: Report

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Chelsea aim to hold onto third place
Chelsea aim to hold onto third place

Chelsea are reportedly planning to return with a new bid worth $154 million for Romelu Lukaku after their initial offer was turned down by Inter Milan.

Inter Milan, who have Lukaku tied with them until 2024, rejected Chelsea's initial bid of $118 million, reported BBC Sport. The Blues were also willing to include defender Marcos Alonso in the deal but that was not good enough to convince the San Siro club.

After ending their chase of Borussia Dortmund's Erling Haaland, Chelsea have identified Lukaku as their alternative signing. The Blues are preparing to offer Lukaku a contract that would see the 28-year-old forward earn $14 million per season without including the bonuses, according to Sky Sports Italy.

It was earlier reported that Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) were also interested in signing Lukaku.

Lukaku, who started his Premier League career with Chelsea back in 2011, has expressed his desire to continue at Inter Milan after leading them to the Serie A title in the 2020-21 season. Lukaku finished the season as Inter Milan's top goal scorer with 30 goals, 11 more than second-placed Lautaro Martínez.

After winning the Champions League last term, Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel wanted to bolster his squad further ahead of the 2021-22 season. The European champions were on the lookout for a solid forward and had made Haaland their top target.

However, Dortmund, who have the Norwegian tied with them until 2024, have made it clear repetitively that they are not looking to sell Haaland, especially after losing Jadon Sancho to Manchester United this summer. With 41 and 16 goals respectively, Haaland and Sancho were Dortmund's best players last season, which saw the German club win the domestic cup DFB-Pokal.

Lukaku's first stint with Chelsea was far from successful. He featured in just 15 matches for the Stamford Bridge side, across competitions, where he failed to score a goal. After three matches into the 2013-14 season, Chelsea loaned Lukaku to Everton, a move that turned out to be great for the Belgian striker. Lukaku netted 16 goals and provided eight assists for Everton in the Premier League. The Merseyside club signed Lukaku permanently on a five-year deal.

The Belgium national played four full seasons at Everton, including the loan stint, before switching to Manchester United in the summer of 2017. He spent two full seasons at Old Trafford, where he scored 42 goals and 13 assists in 96 competitive appearances.

As Lukaku failed to win a trophy at Manchester United, he left for Inter Milan at a club-record fee of $103 million in the summer of 2019. In his maiden campaign with the Italian side, Lukaku netted 34 goals and provided six assists in 51 matches, across competitions. He played a key role in Inter Milan's road to the final of the Europa League with seven goals and two assists. Unfortunately, Inter Milan lost the final to Seville.

Inter Milan forward Romelu Lukaku (L) got his 20th league goal this season at Bologna.
Inter Milan forward Romelu Lukaku (L) got his 20th league goal this season at Bologna.
Photo: AFP / Vincenzo PINTO

Lukaku carried his terrific form into the 2020-21 season as he led Inter Milan to their first league title in 11 years. He scored 24 goals and further provided 10 assists in Serie A as his side finished 11 points clear of the second-placed side and their arch-rivals AC Milan.

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