Chelsea have knocked back an enquiry from Juventus over a loan deal for wantaway striker Romelu Lukaku, 90min understands.
Lukaku has just returned from a loan spell with Inter and is set to leave Chelsea in the coming weeks after being left out of Mauricio Pochettino’s squad for the pre-season tour of the United States.
Inter had been leading the charge for his signature but shockingly abandoned their lengthy pursuit of the striker amid suspicions that he had been negotiating with Juventus, despite Lukaku claiming both privately and publicly that he would never entertain a move to another Italian side.
Former Inter teammate Lautaro Martinez recently admitted he was ‘disappointed’ with Lukaku’s behaviour this summer.
Juventus are interested in signing Lukaku and have reached out to Chelsea over a possible loan deal, and while the Blues are welcoming discussions about the Belgian, they are not currently entertaining a temporary deal.
Chelsea want to sell Lukaku permanently and continue to push for an agreement that would see them part ways with the 30-year-old and his high wages altogether.
Sources close to Chelsea believe that the Blues would accept a loan offer if it included a mandatory purchase clause, with the plan currently to find a solution which would definitively bring an end to Lukaku’s second spell at Stamford Bridge.
An offer remains on the table from Saudi Arabia. Lukaku snubbed a transfer to the Middle East earlier this summer and is understood to be keen to remain in Europe, with a return to Italy his preferred move at this point.
However, with limited interest in his services, all potential options are being explored and the approach from Saudi Arabia has not yet been completely rejected.
Lukaku, who turned 30 in May, still has three years remaining on the contract he signed when he rejoined Chelsea from Inter for £97.5m in 2021.