Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich identifies Romelu Lukaku as top target following Antonio Conte’s departure at Inter Milan


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Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is ready to back Thomas Tuchel with a high-profile addition up front in the summer transfer window and will push to re-sign Romelu Lukaku following Antonio Conte’s departure at Inter Milan.

Tuchel has overseen dramatic improvements in Chelsea’s defensive record since taking over the reins from Frank Lampard and the German is keen to further strengthen in this area, with Raphael Varane, Marquinhos, Niklas Sule and Jules Kounde all linked.

But given Jorginho is Chelsea’s top scorer in the Premier League this season with a measly tally of seven goals, the club will prioritise bringing in a proven centre-forward with a view to easing the pressure on Timo Werner.

Tottenham’s Harry Kane and Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Haaland are both firmly on the Blues’ radar as potential options. However, Abramovich is especially ‘eager’ to lure Lukaku back to west London as he is one of his ‘favourite strikers’, according to The Sunday World.

Chelsea v Manchester City: Thomas Tuchel speaks before Champions League final

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Abramovich is convinced he has the right man at the helm after Tuchel led Chelsea to a top-four finish while also reaching the FA Cup and Champions League finals and the billionaire Russian is preparing for another summer of lavish spending.

The report claims news of Conte’s sudden exit – which came as a result of Inter’s plan to sell €80million worth of players this summer – will see Chelsea step up their move for Lukaku as they look to capitalise on the turbulent situation at the San Siro.

Lukaku was with the Stamford Bridge outfit as a youngster from 2011 to 2014 but struggled to nail down a spot in Jose Mourinho’s first-team and left to join Everton three years later after an initial loan spell on Merseyside.

Since departing Manchester United, the Belgium international has established himself as one of the top attacking talents in Italy and helped steer the Nerazzurri to the Serie A title with 24 goals and 11 assists this season.

Only Cristiano Ronaldo outscored Lukaku in the Italian top flight this term, with the Portugal superstar netting 29 times for fourth-placed Juventus.

Kepa Arrizabalaga, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Ross Barkley, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Tammy Abraham are all deemed surplus to requirements at Chelsea and could be sold to raise funds for the likes of Lukaku ahead of the 2021/22 campaign.

Lukaku has been linked with former side Chelsea for several months now but the Belgian was quick to play down speculation that he could be on his way out of Inter after they wrapped up the Italian league title.

‘I am so happy for all the Inter fans in the world, for the team, the staff, the president and everyone,’ he told Sky Sport Italia after Inter were crowned champions.

‘It was a wonderful year for us, I am truly proud to play for Inter

I wanted to come out here and celebrate along with the people. I told my friend this was the best way to experience it, to be there with the fans.

‘For me and many of my teammates, this is our first league title, so it’s a moment we wanted to share with them.’

Asked whether this season was the best of his career, he replied added: ‘Last year was good too, but yes, this was the best of my career.

‘It’s wonderful and I hope to continue like this. I want to thank everyone, I am truly so happy.’

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