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.