Romelu Lukaku has completed his $135 million move to Chelsea from Inter Milan, signing a contract at Stamford Bridge until 2026.
Lukaku, a Belgium international, rejoins the club he left in 2014 as Chelsea’s record signing, eclipsing the fee paid for Kai Havertz last summer. Lukaku will be tasked with adding the firepower to Thomas Tuchel’s squad that can allow them to win the Premier League title and retain the Champions League.
“I’m happy and blessed to be back at this wonderful club,” said Lukaku. “It’s been a long journey for me: I came here as a kid who had a lot to learn, now I’m coming back with a lot of experience and more mature. The relationship I have with this club means so much to me, as you know. I have supported Chelsea as a kid and now to be back and try to help them win more titles is an amazing feeling.
“The way the club is going fits my ambitions perfectly at 28 and just coming off winning Serie A. I think this opportunity comes at the right time and hopefully we can have a lot of success together. Since I left Chelsea, it’s been a long journey with a lot of ups and downs, but these experiences made me strong and the challenge is to try to help the team win some more trophies. I can’t wait to get started and to help the club achieve more success.”
Lukaku won the first league title of his career last season and was named Serie A’s MVP after an outstanding season for Inter Milan in which he scored 24 goals in 36 games. He is the most expensive player ever sold by a Serie A club and the second-most expensive signing made by a Premier League side behind Jack Grealish, who recently went to Manchester City for $140 million. With transfer fees worth a combined $400 million, Lukaku is now the most expensive footballer of all time in terms of cumulative fees.
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The move also brings Lukaku back to the Premier League, where he has has found the net on 113 occasions for West Bromwich Albion, Everton and Manchester United.
“Romelu Lukaku is quite simply one of the world’s best strikers and goalscorers,” said Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia. “We are absolutely delighted to be bringing him back to the club he loves, and are excited to be adding his talent to our Champions League-winning squad.
“We are of course looking to build on last season’s success, and Lukaku will play a big role in achieving our targets.”
Lukaku’s arrival is expected to see Tammy Abraham leave the club with Roma in talks over a move. Arsenal are among the Premier League clubs interested in his services.