Romelu Lukaku has completed a loan move to Inter Milan just a year after leaving for Chelsea.
Lukaku broke Chelsea’s club-record transfer after Chelsea paid inter £97.5m for his services last summer, but , before Christmas, he said he was “not happy” and hoped to rejoin the Italian side.
Inter have agreed to pay a loan fee of about 8m euros (£6.9m) for Lukaku, who helped them win Serie A in 2020-21.
The Belgium striker struggled upfront for Chelsea last season but scored 15 goals in all competitions.
It is understood Lukaku was willing to take a pay cut to seal a move back to Inter, but the club’s financial situation meant it was impossible for them to match his wages or buy the forward outright.
However, president Steven Zhang got involved personally in the negotiations last week, which was viewed as significant.
“I’m back baby,” Lukaku said in a video on Inter’s Twitter page. “I am very happy.” Zhang added: “The big boss is back. It is like deja vu, coming back here again.”
In an interview with Inter TV, Lukaku said it was “like coming home” and he had been in contact with his new coach Simone Inzaghi “all last season”.
“Inter have given me so much and I hope now to do even better than before,” said the frontman, who scored 64 goals in 95 appearances during his first spell in Italy.
“I didn’t even leave my home when I went to England, which shows how happy I am to be back here.”
Asked what convinced him to return, Lukaku added: “The affection of the fans and my team-mates, but also the opportunity to work with the coach. I stayed in contact with him all last season.”
Lukaku, who left Chelsea to join Everton for £28m in 2014, returned to Stamford Bridge last summer on a five-year deal.