Only days ago the majority of chatter in the Inter universe revolved around Nahitan Nandez, Hector Bellerin, and Denzel Dumfries. The only major concern was once again centered on the right-wingback role. Yes, Inter had taken a few steps back from the heights of 2020/21, but it still had one of the strongest squads in the league with a capable coach at the helm. Or so we thought.
How times have changed. Since news broke that Chelsea were prepared to throw the bank at Inter in return for Romelu Lukaku (and most importantly, Inter had no qualms accepting a sale), the conversation has now shifted to how devastating the Belgian’s departure would be for the Nerazzurri, whose era of dominance is ending before it even began. With a €120 million-plus offer growing larger and larger on the horizon, the only thing keeping Lukaku in Milan was the player himself.
Now even that last line of defense is gone. According to Sky Sport Italia, Lukaku is willing to return to the club where he spent 2011 to 2014. He has spoken of a desire to stay in Milan but the combination of a massive salary and greater ambitions at Chelsea evidently turned his head. Lukaku’s new contract, which will reportedly run until 2026, pays him upwards of €12 million a year, an increase of 50% on his €7.5 million Inter salary. It’s looking like a final agreement between Inter and Chelsea is due in only a matter of time, with an official announcement following closely behind.
But if you thought that was all of the bad news for today, think again. According to the English press, Inter still owes Manchester United €55 million from the initial deal in 2019, on top of a 5% cut from the transfer to Chelsea. That leaves Inter with its hands tied in the market as it hunts for a replacement with only three weeks before the new season begins. One name that’s popped up frequently is that of Duvan Zapata. The Colombian won’t be easy to pry away from Atalanta without significantly overpaying and is already thirty years old.
It’s not looking good folks.