Chelsea and Inter Milan have reached agreement over a loan move for striker Romelu Lukaku, according to Sky in Italy reports.
Inter will pay a fee of €8m plus add ones, with the move being subject to a medical.
Chelsea paid Inter £97.5m to sign Lukaku last summer, but the Belgian scored just eight Premier League goals in 26 outings.
In December, Lukaku told Sky in Italy he wanted to return to Inter one day. He said: “I really hope in the depths of my heart to return to Inter, not at the end of my career, but at a still good level to hopefully win more.”
Last week, it was revealed Inter cannot afford to sign Lukaku – who scored 64 goals in 95 games and helped them to the Serie A title during his time at the club – on a permanent deal.
“I think it is close, but it is not imminent. The Inter chief executive Beppe Marotta was speaking earlier, he was saying they have jumped at the chance to try and re-sign Romelu Lukaku but it is not imminent. He said it’s not going to be announced today.
“There isn’t a positive spin you can put on this. The transfer will go down in Premier League history as one of the worst transfer deals of all time. Chelsea signed him for almost £100m, he was brilliant for two seasons at Inter, but came to Chelsea and things started going wrong quickly.
“He gave that interview to Sky Italy in which he basically said he wanted to go back to Inter. It looks from the outside that his heart hasn’t been in it. I understand, he doesn’t particularly like the way Chelsea play under Thomas Tuchel, but it doesn’t look like he’s tried too hard to adapt. I think the vast majority of Chelsea supporters will be glad to see the back of him.
“But it is an extraordinary tale, a player they signed for almost £100m going back to inter a year later on what will probably be a loan deal, and Inter will pay £10m to begin with. And then there are his wages, because he’s on about £325,000 per week at Chelsea. Someone close to the negotiations told us yesterday that he is leaving. He doesn’t have a future at Chelsea.”
Chelsea are pressing ahead with their summer recruitment plans now that the £4.25bn Todd Boehly-led consortium takeover of the club has been completed.
The Blues have a verbal agreement already in place with Sevilla defender Jules Kounde, with the Spanish club preferring a quick deal as they aim to balance their books before June 30.
Talks on a deal for Kounde had collapsed last year but there is optimism from all parties it will get done this time.
Paris Saint-Germain’s Presnel Kimpembe is part of a shortlist of central defensive options and is Thomas Tuchel’s preference. Atletico Madrid’s Jose Gimenez and RB Leipzig’s Josko Gvardiol are also among those being looked at.
Chelsea like Monaco midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni but the expectation is he will end up at Real Madrid. PSV’s Ibrahim Sangare is among the alternatives scouted.