The Belgian was mobbed by reporters as he left the airport (Pictures: Getty / Sky Sports News)
Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku has touched down in Milan ahead of his return to Inter and shared his delight at sealing a move back to the San Siro.
The Belgium international will undergo a medical on Wednesday before putting pen to paper on a one-year contract and he looked in great spirits when he arrived at Milan airport at around 6.30am Italian time.
Lukaku was mobbed by reporters as he made his way to his car, briefly answering a few questions and posing for photos with a blue and black Inter scarf.
Asked for his thoughts on sealing a move back to the Nerazzurri after a frustrating year at Stamford Bridge, Lukaku smiled and told reporters: ‘I’m very happy to be back!’
The 29-year-old will now undergo medical tests before Inter officially confirm the deal later in the day, with Lukaku signing on loan until the end of the season.
Inter have agreed to cover the forward’s full salary and have paid a guaranteed loan fee of €8million (£6m), though various performance-related add-ons could take the package closer to £10m.
Lukaku no longer featured in Thomas Tuchel’s plans and both the player and his manager were keen to part ways – even if only temporarily – with co-owner Todd Boehly agreeing to sanction the loan.
#Inter, Ã¨ tutto vero: Romelu #Lukaku Ã¨ tornato a #Milano âš«ï¸ðŸ”µ @fcin1908it pic.twitter.com/El7s6KKJ76
— Daniele Vitiello (@DanViti) June 29, 2022
The former Everton and Manchester United forward remains Chelsea’s record-signing, leaving Inter in a £97.5m deal just one year ago, but he netted just eight Premier League goals in his second spell in west London.
Lukaku also felt like a poor stylistic fit for the brand of football Tuchel likes to play, while he courted controversy and lost support from fans when he gave an interview suggesting he regretted the move.
The Belgian told Sky Sport Italia back in December that he ‘was not happy with the situation’ at Chelsea and also apologised to Inter fans, saying he wanted to return while he was still in his prime.
Lukaku’s move should be confirmed on Wednesday afternoon (Picture: Getty)
‘I want to say a big apology to the Inter fans because I think the way I left should have been different,’ he said, having publicly declared his commitment to the club only to leave for Chelsea shortly afterwards.
‘I really hope in the depths of my heart to return to Inter, not at the end of my career, but at a still good level to hopefully win more.’
Lukaku has got his wish – perhaps rather sooner than he expected – though Inter’s fans have not exactly welcomed him back with open arms with supporters group Curva Nord saying they have not forgiven him for ‘betraying’ the club.
The striker netted 64 goals in 96 games in all competitions for Inter and was the club’s top scorer in each of his two seasons, firing the side to their first Serie A title in 11 years.
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