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Chelsea's Lukaku: I wanted to stay at Inter, they have the best fans in the world

5:26 PM GMT+4 31/12/2021
Romelu Lukaku, Inter
The Belgian has claimed he wouldn't have rejoined the Blues if a new contract had been available to him at San Siro

Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku has admitted that he wanted to stay at Inter beyond the summer, while describing the Italian club's fans as "the best in the world".

Lukaku scored 64 goals in 95 games across his two-year spell at Inter and helped the club win their first Serie A title in 11 years.

The 28-year-old appeared fully committed to his duties at San Siro until the Nerazzurri were plunged into a financial crisis that led to the departure of head coach Antonio Conte in June, with Chelsea subsequently able to lure him back to the Premier League.

What's been said?

Lukaku declared that he was rejoining his "dream" club when the Blues snapped him for £98 million ($132m), but has now claimed that he would have preferred to remain in Italy.

Inter's inability to hand Lukaku a new contract ultimately made him decide to head back to England, as he told Sky Italia: "I would have stayed at Inter even without him [Conte], the problem was the new contract I asked for.

"Last summer I went to talk to the Inter board and I asked for a new contract. I said: I'm 28, I want to plan my life in Italy with a new deal... but Inter said no. Maybe there wasn't the economic possibility. For me it was difficult to accept.

"If there had been the offer of a new contract from Inter last summer as I wanted... we would not be doing this interview now here from London, but quietly from Milano!"

Lukaku added on his love for Inter: “I’m always thinking about Milano, Milano, Milano... Inter fans are the best in the world.

"I love the city and the best moment of my career was at Inter. I am in love with Italy - I have Inter in my heart."

Chelsea wasn't first-choice destination

Lukaku went on to reveal that he originally planned to stay at Inter until one of Barcelona, Real Madrid or Bayern Munich came calling for his signature.

The experienced frontman says Chelsea were fourth on his list, having previously played for the west London outfit between 2011 and 2014.

“There are 3 teams at the top level: Barcelona, Real, Bayern," he said. "All the players dream of them, that's the truth. I thought I was going to one of those clubs after Inter.

"This didn’t happen and I said: there is only one club where I can imagine myself, it's Chelsea.”

Lukaku also confirmed that he turned down an approach from Manchester City in 2020 because he felt he owed Inter his loyalty after they gave him the chance to rebuild his reputation following an ill-fated stint at Manchester United.

“In the summer of 2020, I turned down an offer from Manchester City," he said. "It was a higher offer than Chelsea's one. I refused because I couldn't leave Inter after just one year - it's the club that saved my career when I was feeling bad at Manchester United."

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