Inter Milan chief Beppe Marotta has confirmed Romelu Lukaku will return to Chelsea this summer despite claims the Belgian striker wants to make his loan deal permanent at the Italian club.
The 29-year-old rejoined Inter on loan last summer after enduring a miserable first season back at Stamford Bridge despite returning for a club-record £97.5million.
His loan return to Inter has been marred by injury this season, with the Belgian making only 14 appearances so far.
‘Lukaku to stay also next year? It’s too early to decide, he will return to Chelsea and we will see what’s next,’ Marotta told Sky. ‘Lukaku wants to stay at Inter, for sure — we know Romelu’s intention and so we will see if we can negotiate his return here.’
It comes after the CEO appeared to hint that Lukaku was overweight in a pre-match interview.
‘I have to say he has 103kg to carry around, so he needs to be in perfect physical shape to deliver and he is not there yet,’ Marotta had told Sky Sport Italia and Amazon Prime Italia pre-match.
‘He’s getting there and the coach is the best person to evaluate how he is doing and how he should be used.
‘Games tend to last almost 100 minutes nowadays, so the players who come off the bench can be just as important as what I like to call their co-starters.
‘Unfortunately, another problem with this anomalous season is the World Cup, which was midway through the first half of the campaign.
‘I can see that participation in the World Cup affected many players, some feel it more than others, and Lukaku had an injury that meant he was reduced to practically a cameo at that tournament.’
Lukaku scored his side’s winner in their 1-0 victory over FC Porto in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 clash at the San Siro.