Mauricio Pochettino speaks on Romelu Lukaku Chelsea returns

Mauricio Pochettino is set to offer Romelu Lukaku the chance to ‘relaunch his career’ at Chelsea next season.

Lukaku, who joined the Blues for £97.5m from Inter Milan in the summer of 2021, returned to the Nerazzurri this season on loan after a nightmare spell at Stamford Bridge.

A bombshell interview in which Lukaku criticised the management of then boss Thomas Tuchel didn’t help his cause as he spent the majority of the season watching from the sidelines.

His return to inter hasn’t gone to plan either, with the Belgium international scoring just five Serie A goals in an injury-ravaged season, though he has scored two and created three in his last two starts.

Lukaku is thought to be desperate to stay at Inter, or rather not return to Chelsea, but the imminent arrival of Pochettino could be enough to change his mind.

Given Chelsea spent over £600m on new players this season, financial fair play constraints are likely to prevent them shelling out big money on another new striker, and the return of Lukaku could be a huge boost to the goal-shy Blues.

Gazzetta dello Sport claim claim Chelsea’s ‘idea is to introduce Lukaku to their new project’ and to ‘make him feel what Pochettino has in mind for him’.

The report adds: ‘Pochettino will work with the Premier as the only stage to shape the many young talents who arrived in January. Lukaku will be offered a role in all this, with the idea of being able to relaunch his career in the championship considered the most important in the world.’

The former Villa striker said last month: “It’s just their finishing – it’s half-embarrassing when you watch them now. Chelsea just need a striker.

“To have [Hakim] Ziyech, [Christian] Pulisic and not put [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang in the Champions League squad, it doesn’t make sense to me.

“I’d bring Lukaku back. Ivan Toney is also great shout. They need someone who is going to score you goals, all types of goals, and who has played in the Premier League.

“It has to be a signing to tie in with Financial Fair Play as well. The amount of money they’ve already spent, they probably can’t go out and buy a £120million striker.

“Get the team playing to Lukaku’s strengths. When Lukaku was at Chelsea, [Ben] Chillwell and [Reece] James were injured and they weren’t getting the ball in the box for him. He wasn’t getting the service.”

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