Chelsea offered Marcos Alonso plus €100million (£85.5m) in an attempt to prise Romelu Lukaku away from Inter Milan but it was rejected by the Serie A club.
Erling Haaland has been a major Chelsea target for much of the summer, with Thomas Tuchel keen on signing a proven striker and goalscorer with a view to mounting a serious title challenge this season.
But Dortmund’s £150m asking price for the Norwegian star has led them to instead focus their efforts on re-signing Lukaku, who was previously at the club from 2011 to 2014 but failed to make any impact.
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The Belgian also struggled to live up to expectations in his two years with Manchester United but has now established himself as one of the most lethal striker in Europe.
According to Gianluca Di Marzio, the Blues have made it clear they would be prepared to part with €100m – plus Alonso – in order to bring their former player back to Chelsea but their attempts to reach an agreement have been unsuccessful.
The report suggests they could return with another offer for Lukaku and it would be left up to the player to decide his future if his club’s demands are met before the transfer window closes.
However, Lukaku is not prepared to force his way out of the San Siro to seal a return to London and is happy with life in Italy.
Simone Inzaghi, who replaced Antonio Conte, has reassured Lukaku he is a key figure in his plans and made sure to include the Belgian in talks regarding the club’s transfer dealings.
‘From our side, we can yes absolutely, Lukaku is not for sale,’ Inter’s CEO, Beppe Marotta, told Sport Mediaset just last week.
‘Lukaku is an important piece on the chessboard available to Simone Inzaghi.’
Lukaku also intimated his desire to stay on with Inter when pressed on the intense speculation surrounding he future ahead of Belgium’s Euro 2020 campaign.
‘Yes, I am staying,’ he told VTM. ‘I’ve already had contact with the man who will become our new manager [Inzaghi]. Maybe I shouldn’t say that yet… but it was a very positive conversation.’