Mauricio Pochettino is willing to hand Romelu Lukaku a lifeline at Chelsea should he be appointed as the club’s new manager, according to reports.
The Argentine coach remains in talks and negotiations with the Blues hierarchy over the prospect of replacing Frank Lampard at the end of the campaign – a task that appears to be getting harder with every game that goes by.
That’s because Chelsea have now lost their last six games in all competitions under their interim manager.
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Their poor form and displays have once again highlighted the size of the task at hand for any new coach that is willing to take on the challenge at the end of the season.
If Pochettino is to join Chelsea, he will be tasked with overseeing a huge rebuild that will involve offloading a number of the club’s current first team players.
Reports suggest he has begun to decide exactly who he will keep and who he will sell but according to Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport, but there is a shock on the horizon.
That’s because Pochettino reportedly wants to keep Lukaku and bring the Belgian forward back in from the cold after his loan spell back in Italy with Inter.
Lukaku returned to his former side on loan last summer after a bad campaign with Chelsea after sealing a club-record £97.5m return to Stamford Bridge.
He got off to the best possible start when he netted on his second Chelsea debut in an eye-catching away victory at Arsenal but injuries and poor form halted his progress.
Chelsea fans have since been desperate to sell the big-money striker but it appears Pochettino is willing to wipe the slate clean.
Inter Milan could still make a summer proposal to sign Lukaku on a permanent basis at the end of the campaign, meaning the Blues could have a key decision to make over the Belgian international’s future.
The 29-year-old has found the net only five times in 20 Serie A games this season, however, he did make it clear in January that he intended to make the move permanent.
“Everyone knows what I want. Right now I have to do whatever is necessary with the team to make Inter win and then we can talk to Chelsea,” Lukaku told Sky Sport Italy at the beginning of 2023.
“The idea is to finish [my career] with [boyhood club] Anderlecht. I’m [nearly] 30 years old, my son started school here and plays in the Inter academy. I’m fine, Inter always has ambition to keep growing.
“I want to stay here and do things right. I hope to do well with Inter in the next six months, work to the maximum and then at the end we talk to Chelsea and hope to find a solution.”