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Chelsea complete £98m Lukaku transfer as striker returns to Stamford Bridge from Inter

Chelsea have completed the signing of Romelu Lukaku from Inter for £98 million ($136m), with the Belgian striker returning to Stamford Bridge for a second spell after two years in Serie A.

Lukaku, who took in his first stint with the Blues between 2011 and 2014, has signed a five-year deal with the European champions that will see him remain in west London until 2026.

Inter were initially reluctant to part ways with a prized asset, but couldn’t afford to turn down Chelsea’s lucrative offer amid an ongoing financial crisis, and the 28-year-old has now been officially unveiled at the Bridge ahead of the 2021-22 campaign.

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Why did Chelsea target Lukaku?

Chelsea may have conquered the Champions League for a second time last season, while also securing a fourth-place finish in the Premier League last term, but Jorginho was their top scorer in the league with seven goals.

Timo Werner struggled to live up to expectations following his £47.5m move from RB Leipzig last summer, scoring just six top-flight goals in 35 appearances, while Tammy Abraham and Olivier Giroud also struggled for consistency.

Giroud opted to join AC Milan in search of more regular minutes last month, leaving a spot open in Thomas Tuchel’s ranks for a new target man, and Lukaku will be expected to walk straight into his starting line-up after solidifying his reputation as one of the most prolific forwards in Europe at San Siro.

The Belgium international failed to score a goal in 15 competitive outings for the Blues when he was last on their books, but returns as a far more accomplished player having fired Inter to their first Serie A crown in 11 years in 2020-21.

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