Chelsea have confirmed the signing of Romelu Lukaku from Internazionale on a contract to 2026. They have paid a club record €115m (£97.5m) for the striker, who returns to Stamford Bridge 10 years after joining from Anderlecht and becomes football’s most expensive player in cumulative transfer fees at £289m.
Lukaku made only 15 appearances for 첼시 before being sold to Everton in 2014 and has not scored for the club, spending much of his first spell on loan. He comes back as a player Thomas Tuchel regards as central to his hopes of winning the Premier League and retaining the Champions League.
Chelsea were hampered last season by their lack of a prolific forward – the midfielder Jorginho was the leading scorer in the league with seven goals – and the manager believes Lukaku can solve that problem. The Belgian got 47 Serie A goals in 72 games across his two seasons at Inter and 64 goals in 95 appearances in all competitions.His net salary will be €12m (£10.2m) a year before bonuses.
“I’m happy and blessed to be back at this wonderful club,” Lukaku said. “It’s been a long journey for me. I came here as a kid who had a lot to learn, now I’m coming back with a lot of experience and more mature. The relationship I have with this club means so much to me, as you know. I have supported Chelsea as a kid and now to be back and try to help them win more titles is an amazing feeling.
“The way the club is going fits my ambitions perfectly at 28 and just coming off winning Serie A. I think this opportunity comes at the right time and hopefully we can have a lot of success together.”
Chelsea moved for Lukaku after concluding that targets such as Erling Haaland and Harry Kane were out of reach, and are encouraged by his familiarity with the Premier League. He played in England’s top division for Chelsea, West Brom, Everton and Manchester United before joining Inter.
Lukaku sealed the move after flying to London on Wednesday night, when the squad were in Belfast for the Super Cup, which they won on penalties against Villarreal.