The Belgian forward returned to Stamford Bridge last summer in a £97.5million deal from Inter Milan but struggled to live up to his price tag, angering fans with an ill-judged interview and looking like a poor fit for Thomas Tuchel’s style of play.
Lukaku is keen to return to San Siro but Inter do not have the funds to buy him back, while Chelsea had been looking to receive a loan fee of around £21million.
But now Goal.com claim the Blues have drastically lowered their asking price, which is now set at just £10m – though it is still significantly more than the £6m Inter have offered so far.
Nevertheless, Chelsea’s decision to lower the loan fee is an indication of how keen they are to offload Lukaku – even if only temporarily – and they are already looking at strikers who better suit Tuchel’s football.
The club’s preference this time is not to sign an out-and-out number nine like Lukaku, but instead they want a flexible, high-energy, pressing inside forward.
There are three main names in the frame, with Chelsea seriously considering a swoop for Manchester City’s Gabriel Jesus – who is Arsenal’s top transfer target this summer.
The Brazilian ticks all the boxes Chelsea are looking for, capable of playing across the frontline and possessing tremendous work rate, while City are looking to cash in after signing Erling Haaland.
Jesus’ City teammate Raheem Sterling is also being assessed by Chelsea’s hierarchy, along with RB Leipzig’s Christopher Nkunku – with both those targets suggesting Tuchel will go back towards the false nine setup that was such a success.
Despite previously being interested in Robert Lewandowski – who has asked to leave Bayern Munich and is wanted by Barcelona – Chelsea are not expected to follow up their interest this time around.
Armando Broja, meanwhile, will be given a chance to impress in pre-season as a more traditional striker option, though he has a long list of suitors if Chelsea decide to cash in.
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