Inter must make a decision on the future of loanee Romelu Lukaku, with the club unsure as to whether to retain him or send him back to Chelsea.

The Belgium international rejoined the Nerazzurri on loan one year on from signing for Chelsea in a €115 million deal, but Inter must consider whether they wish to extend this arrangement beyond the end of the season, as reported in today’s newspaper edition of Tuttosport.

Lukaku has failed to recapture the form that saw Chelsea smash the Serie A transfer record for him, with an injury-plagued season limiting him to just 256 minutes of action across five appearances.

He has scored twice and provided a single assist, as he has struggled with a thigh injury sustained in August, followed by a subsequent relapse.

These injury issues, coupled with the fact the fact that Lukaku would turn 31 next season, may be significant factors in Inter deciding against a loan extension, particularly as it may require the Italian club to buy him outright in 2024.

Similarly, the cost of the operation may prove beyond the Nerazzurri’s budget, with the current arrangement of a €10m fee plus the striker’s €11m wages unlikely to be accepted by Chelsea for a second season.

However, it is also argued that there are plenty of reasons for Inter to consider extending the loan into next season.

Coach Simone Inzaghi was particularly keen to work with Lukaku, having seen him depart for Chelsea at the same time that he was appointed, and has not yet been able to utilise him this term.

The tactician had pushed Inter to swoop for Lukaku instead of free agent Paulo Dybala, and is determined to reignite the strike partnership with Lautaro Martinez enjoyed under predecessor Antonio Conte.

It is also hoped that the World Cup will allow Lukaku to rediscover his form and fitness before returning as a rejuvenated player for the second half of the season, and help Inter close the gap at the top of the table.

Meanwhile, he is unwanted at parent club Chelsea and there is a hope that an agreement could be reached to sign him for a reduced fee.