Inter president Steven Zhang has been the driving force behind the Nerazzurri’s decision to accept a large cash offer from Chelsea for striker Romelu Lukaku, with other figures at the club unhappy with the decision.
This according to the online edition of Milan-based newspaper Corriere della Sera, via FCInter1908, who report that CEO Beppe Marotta and Sporting Director Piero Ausilio are opposed to selling the Belgian, and that head coach Simone Inzaghi is displeased with the situation.
According to the report, Inter’s directors feared that an agreement with Chelsea could send a message to clubs and the important members of the squad that the Nerazzurri’s other stars are also up for sale for the right price.
This is why Marotta and Ausilio opposed the decision to accept Chelsea’s offer, the report explains, in addition to the obvious fact that the team are losing a vital contributor on the pitch for next season’s Scudetto defense should Lukaku go.
Meanwhile, head coach Simone Inzaghi is reported to have had a conversation with the Belgian striker, where the player explained that it is not his desire to leave.
However, the report adds, with the clubs agreeing on a deal he will not stand in the way of the sale and will take the opportunity to join the European champions.
The new Inter manager is said to be unhappy with the club allowing the striker to depart, with the player’s loss an early blow to his Nerazzurri project before it has even gotten underway on the pitch.
The Italian tactician joined Inter from Lazio earlier this summer with the full understanding that one important squad member would be sold, in the form of Achraf Hakimi who left for Paris Saint-Germain.
He had hoped to rely on Lukaku’s quality in the forward line to build his team and attempt to defend the Scudetto won by his predecessor Antonio Conte with this Nerazzurri squad.
Nevertheless, it now looks as though Inter and Chelsea will press ahead with a blockbuster deal that will see Lukaku move back to the Premier League, and the Nerazzurri will seek a replacement or replacements to make available to Inzaghi.
Lukaku will agree to join Chelsea with some reluctance, but that the decision came primarily from President Steven Zhang in China.
Lukaku’s departure now looks likely, in a move that comes as a shock with most having expected the player to remain with Inter next season after the club gave all indications they planned to keep him and the 28-year-old stating his desire to remain.
However, Chelsea have pushed hard for the striker in the last few days, following up their first rejected bid with an even larger cash offer.
It is now thought that the Nerazzurri have accepted the bid and that the player is prepared to sign for the English club.
The decision has sent shock-waves through the Nerazzurri world, with the Belgian having been a key player for the club last season.