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Chelsea

Tuchel out, Lukaku back? Could Chelsea manager change offer clean slate to £98m striker?

12:51 BST 08/09/2022
Romelu Lukaku Chelsea 2021-22
Romelu Lukaku was returned to Inter just 12 months after Chelsea invested £98 million ($113m) in him, but Thomas Tuchel has now left Stamford Bridge.
  • Record transfer in summer of 2021
  • Returned to Inter on loan
  • Blues have signed Aubameyang

WHAT HAPPENED? A managerial change has been made in west London following a slow start to Premier League and Champions League campaigns in 2022-23. It was a German tactician that struggled to bring the best out of Lukaku during his second stint with the Blues, but a slate could be wiped clean there by an incoming boss.

WHAT THEY SAID: Inter CEO Beppe Marotta has told Sky Sport Italia of Lukaku potentially being welcomed back by Chelsea in 2023: “It’s fresh news. I don’t know what the effects will be. We absolutely want to get the best contribution out of Lukaku, and then at the end of the season we’ll sit down and discuss him with Chelsea. I don’t know if a change of coaches means that his return is to be automatic, it’s difficult to predict.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Chelsea made Lukaku their club-record signing when returning him to English football from Inter in the summer of 2022.

AND WHAT'S MORE: He was, however, allowed to retrace steps to San Siro on loan after hitting just 15 goals through 44 appearances and struggling to cement a standing as the focal point of Tuchel’s attack.

STORY IN THREE PHOTOS:

WHAT NEXT FOR LUKAKU & CHELSEA? Lukaku has been back among the goals in Italy, but Chelsea have acquired Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang since he departed and handed the Gabonese frontman their No.9 shirt.