Chelsea transfer news - Roman Abramovich personally driving Romelu Lukaku deal - Transfer Notebook
Chelsea are not hanging about as they try and reward Thomas Tuchel for his success in winning the Champions League with an improved squad for next season. Romelu Lukaku is a prime target to return to the club and, as Dean Jones reveals in his latest Transfer Notebook, it's an approach which is being steered at the very highest levels of the club.
Romelu Lukaku of FC Internazionale celebrates after scoring a goal during the Serie A football match between FC Internazionale and Udinese Calcio. FC Internazionale won 5-1 over Udinese Calcio
Roman Abramovich is personally driving the push to bring Romelu Lukaku back to Chelsea.
The Blues owner is ready to back Thomas Tuchel this summer with improvements being considered in defence, midfield and attack - and Abramovich is getting involved personally over a potential return of Lukaku. It is understood he is convinced the Inter Milan forward is the ideal player to improve their chances of kicking on to a Premier League title challenge next season.
Talks are already open regarding terms of a contract - but Manchester City could yet stand in his way of getting a deal done. They are also in the frame to sign him and early indications around Lukaku’s camp suggest City are offering higher wages.
These are early stages and Inter Milan’s new manager Simeone Inzaghi does not want to lose the club’s star player on the back of a brilliant 30-goal season in Italy.
Lukaku is loving his life in Serie A but the club have financial issues and he needs to be assured of the club’s direction if he is to stick around. It is understood Lukaku would be willing to come back to the Premier League - and choosing between the Premier League champions and Champions League winners is a nice place to find himself in.
Chelsea and City are prioritising a No.9 this summer and both also hold an interest in Harry Kane and Erling Haaland, though both situations are more complicated than that of Lukaku.
A return to Chelsea for Lukaku is a genuine possibility as Olivier Giroud and Tammy Abraham are likely to leave and the club will start to invest on the back of their European success over City. Their focus on Lukaku comes as they know Tottenham are unlikely to deal with them over Kane and Borussia Dortmund are asking Haaland to give them one more season.
Lukaku was a Chelsea player between 2011-2014 and only made 15 appearances, yet Abramovich has continued to admire him as a player and - while he does not usually get too involved personally in transfer discussions - he is understood to have been part of talks in the past week over bringing Lukaku back to Stamford Bridge.
The wage situation is one Chelsea will need to address as Man City are obviously an enticing option too for Lukaku, as Pep Guardiola attempts to help the side bounce back from their disappointment of losing 1-0 in Portugal on Saturday night.
It is thought Chelsea will probably have to make him their highest paid player if he is to arrive.
Tielemans biding his time over new deal
Youri Tielemans is expected to wait until after the European Championship before committing to a new contract at Leicester City.
The Belgium international is tied up to a deal with the Foxes until 2023 yet because Europe’s elite have been paying close attention to his brilliant form over the past season, he is set to be rewarded with improved terms.
Tielemans enjoys life under Brendan Rodgers but sources are indicating that he will not rush into signing a new contract just yet.
He could boost his profile even further with a successful tournament and does not want to limit his options at this stage.
It’s a stance many players will take as they head into Euro 2020. Transfers and contracts are difficult to negotiate during a major tournament, particularly for players who know they could attract offers from the very top clubs.
The Beautiful Game - Chelsea were always in control of Champions League final
Kral set for Hammers
One deal that is being pursued ahead of the Euros and could be completed is West Ham United’s move for Spartak Moscow midfielder Alex Kral.
It is not the first time the Hammers have tapped into the Czech market as they have had success signing Vladimir Coufal and Tomas Soucek in recent times and Kral has been on the radar for some time.
Kral is a defensive midfielder and has been named in the Czech Republic squad this summer. West Ham are trying to tie the deal up in case he has a good tournament and they suddenly face competition for his signature.