Chelsea boss Graham Potter learns Romelu Lukaku stance on returning after Tuchel sacking

Chelsea boss Graham Potter is unlikely to be able to call upon Romelu Lukaku next season with the Belgium international reportedly holding no intention of returning to Stamford Bridge. Chelsea spent big on bringing Lukaku back to Chelsea in 2021, eight years after his last appearance for the club.

Thomas Tuchel was desperate for an out-and-out central striker to come into his team and Lukaku’s form at Inter in the years prior had seen him establish himself as one of Europe’s best attackers. But the forward struggled to make an impact on his move back to the Premier League, scoring just eight league goals.

He also fell out of favour under Tuchel quickly with Kai Havertz ending the season as the main option through the middle. Lukaku soon made it clear that he wanted to move back to the San Siro and eventually got his move with Inter agreeing to sign him on a year-long loan.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was signed as Lukaku’s replacement at the end of the summer transfer window. But Tuchel lasted just a few more days after Aubameyang’s arrival before being given the boot.

Now with Potter in charge, Chelsea are likely to move in a different direction and could offer Lukaku another opportunity in England’s top flight. However, Gazzetta dello Sport claim Lukaku still has no interest in returning to Stamford Bridge next summer.

The report adds that Inter officials are in the process of opening talks with Chelsea to extend his loan by another 12 months. Lukaku’s start to the season at Inter has been hampered by an injury he picked up at the end of August and has missed the Serie A club’s last six games.

Inter CEO Giuseppe Marotta recently admitted that Tuchel’s sacking at Stamford Bridge could affect the striker’s future in Italy. “It’s fresh news. I don’t know what the effects will be,” Marotta said earlier this month after Tuchel’s sacking.

“We absolutely want to get the best contribution out of Lukaku, and then at the end of the season we’ll sit down and discuss him with Chelsea. I don’t know if a change of coaches means that his return is to be automatic, it’s difficult to predict today.”

Aubameyang is yet to get off the mark for Chelsea since his move from Barcelona, but has played just twice due to league games being postponed following The Queen’s death. They’re back in action this weekend with a trip to Crystal Palace before hosting AC Milan in a crucial Champions League tie.

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