£132.5m flops ‘will not continue at Chelsea’ – Inter told to buy as Saudi club offers €20m contract

Jason Soutar
Chelsea players Kalidou Koulibaly and Romelu Lukaku during a match between Napoli and Inter.

Chelsea are looking to offload Kalidou Koulibaly and Romelu Lukaku on a permanent basis with Inter interested in signing the pair on loan, according to reports.

The Blues signed Lukaku for a then club-record fee in the region of £97.5million in 2021 after he fired Inter to the Serie A title.

The Belgian’s 2021/22 season was very disappointing as he failed to live up to the transfer fee. He then re-joined Inter on loan last summer for the entirety of last term.

Meanwhile, Koulibaly was signed from Napoli for around £35m last year and struggled to adapt to life in England in what was a poor campaign for the club and player.

It is no surprise to see Chelsea looking to cut their losses after a year and two years, respectively.

Todd Boehly changed his transfer philosophy to sign younger players in the January window after bringing in the likes of Koulibaly, Raheem Sterling and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang last summer.

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This means Koulibaly and Lukaku are likely to be sacrificed in a summer of several first-team departures at Stamford Bridge.

Writing on Twitter, Relevo journalist Matte Moretto confirmed that both players ‘will not continue at Chelsea’ beyond the summer.

In Koulibaly’s case, Moretto says he is not a part of new head coach Mauricio Pochettino’s plans and the Blues see him as a desirable player in the transfer market.

The Senegalese centre-back is wanted by Champions League finalists Inter, ‘but they will need the formula that suits everyone’.

The Nerazzurri are also keen on Lukaku, who ‘wants to return’ to San Siro and ‘is not contemplating other options’.

Chelsea are hoping they can tempt Inter into a deal involving their unwanted duo for goalkeeper Andre Onana, who is valued at around £50m.

During a meeting to discuss Onana, Inter asked to sign Lukaku and Kouliably on loan, but Chelsea refused and are only open to a permanent sale, says Italian journalist Rudy Galetti.

And fellow Italian Fabrizio Romano has also provided an update on the situation of both players.

Romano echoed what Galetti said, adding that Lukaku’s stance is that he only wants to play for Inter.

With Inter looking for a cut-price loan deal for Lukaku, the Belgian international could join a club in Saudi Arabia after being offered a €20m-a-year salary to play for Al-Hilal.

This is according to Foot Mercato, who claim the 30-year-old has asked for €90m per year, the cheeky sod.

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