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Reports: Inter pulls out of Romelu Lukaku negotiations with Chelsea

Well that sounds dramatic.

UEFA EURO 2024 Qualifying Round - group F”Belgium v Austria” Photo by ANP via Getty Images

There appears to be one less party at the table when it comes to the race to sign Romelu Lukaku. And that party is one that is decked out in blue and black.

Although, the one that is in black and white probably has something to do with it.

According to multiple reports out of Italy on Saturday, Inter have pulled out of negotiations with Chelsea for Lukaku just when it looked like they might have their bid accepted. The problem was that was when Inter went to contact Lukaku’s agent, they were nowhere to be found and suddenly a deal that looked very much possible is not that way anymore. A big reason for that sudden ghosting is, according to reports, Juventus’ involvement in negotiations for Lukaku, who has reportedly been offered a contract worth €10-11 million net by the Bianconeri.

Juve reportedly have an offer of €37.5 million plus €2.5 million in add-ons on the table with Chelsea, with the caveat being that they first need to sell Dusan Vlahovic by early August, according to Fabrizio Romano.

(Side note: As Gianluca Di Marzio notes in the above tweet, a 30-second call to inform the player that you’re pulling out of negotiations is totally cold-blooded. Like, about as ruthless as they come. That had to be one awkward call.)

A big reason for Juventus’ pursuit of Lukaku as a potential replacement for Vlahovic leaving has been the insistence by manager Max Allegri to sign a player he has long admired. Juve were also linked with Lukaku four years ago (albeit after Allegri had left and was replaced by Maurizio Sarri) when negotiating a potential swap deal between the big Belgian and Paulo Dybala — which, as we know, fell apart because La Joya and Manchester United couldn’t agree to personal terms.

New Juve director Cristiano Giuntoli has reportedly preferred somebody like Lille striker Jonathan David as a Vlahovic replacement because of his age (23) and still-growing game.

With Inter looking very much out of the picture on the Lukaku front, Romano suggests that the 30-year-old Belgian’s options are now basically signing with Juventus or becoming the latest player to chase the big money being thrown around by Saudi Arabian clubs.

At this point, you have to think that Juventus lead that race to sign Lukaku. But then again, it was just about a week ago that we thought these Lukaku rumors were pretty crazy to begin with. But now a week later and things have completely changed — which, in a summer like this one, is just so totally on brand.