Graham Potter has given Romelu Lukaku an ultimatum regarding his future at Chelsea, as the striker nears the end of his contract.
After falling out of favour under Thomas Tuchel, the 29-year-old was heavily linked with a permanent move away from Stamford Bridge.
Lukaku struggled to adjust to the Premier League after his return, and his time under the German soon ran out, resulting in his relegation to the bench. Due to Inter Milan’s budget constraints, the Italian giants were unwilling to meet the Blues’ asking price for the striker.
Instead, the Nerazzurri agreed to a season-long loan, with Chelsea negotiating a fee for Lukaku’s services. However, while the Belgium international is set to return to a new head coach at the end of the season following Tuchel’s dismissal, his future at the club remains uncertain.
According to Calcio Mercato, the west London club does not want to bring back a striker who does not fit Potter’s typical profile. However, according to the report, Lukaku does not want to return to the Cobham training ground when his loan at Inter expires.
Chelsea and the Italian giants are said to have made initial contact regarding a solution to the Belgian’s stay at the San Siro beyond the agreed-upon season-long loan.
Calcio Mercato goes on to say that there are currently two options on the table: another loan or a fee in the region of £7 million.
Lukaku’s contract at Stamford Bridge expires in 2026, but as previously stated, his future at the Blues under Potter is uncertain. And, despite the new Chelsea manager’s plans, a return appears unlikely after leaving on bad terms.
Speaking to DAZN Italia last month, the £60.7million-rated talisman revealed that his exit caused him to anger. He also stated that he does not believe his situation at Chelsea will improve.
“The season at Chelsea gave me even more motivation to do even better than before,” said Lukaku. “People will have forgotten what I can do on the pitch in a year, I believe. This is the type of rage I feel within myself.
“I left with the intention of getting a rematch with Chelsea. I spent eleven years at Chelsea when I was younger, and I wanted to return to be a protagonist.” After the previous game, I began to consider what would be the best situation for me. My season at Chelsea was difficult, and I believe things will not improve in the future, so I decided to return here.”