Chelsea are closing in on a deal to sign Inter striker Romelu Lukaku, with lengthy negotiations leaving them just €5 million short of reaching an agreement.
As reported in today’s newspaper edition of La Gazzetta dello Sport, the two club’s spent eight hours on Friday in telephone negotiations as Chelsea seek to bring the Belgian back to Stamford Bridge this summer.
The Blues were ready to offer €110m for Lukaku but Inter CEO Beppe Marotta is standing firm on his demands for €115m and will not entertain anything less.
Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia had hoped to bring the cost down by including Italian full-backs Davide Zappacosta and Emerson Palmieri in the deal, but Inter have made it clear that they will not accept player exchanges.
Inter’s desire to bring operating costs down over the close season means they are looking to maximise revenue on player sales and bring in high transfer fees, whilst also reducing the wage bill, and so they are demanding full payment.
Chelsea had opened negotiations earlier in the week with a €100m bid and they are edging closer to Inter’s demands, with suggestions that a renewed assault today could lead to a breakthrough.
Lukaku himself has been training as normal with the Nerazzurri but has already found an agreement with Chelsea for a four-year deal, worth €12m per season plus bonuses. The former Manchester United striker is determined to return to the club, having left the Blues in 2014.