Chelsea have tabled a monstrous €130million (£110.6m) bid to sign Romelu Lukaku as they ramp up their search for a No.9, according to reports in Italy.
The Blues have monitored Lukaku throughout the summer transfer window after he scored 24 goals to fire Inter Milan to the Serie A title last season.
Stamford Bridge chiefs have also kept tabs on Erling Haaland but they are said to be resigned to missing out on the Borussia Dortmund sensation.
As such, they have stepped up their interest in Lukaku and aim to lure their former player back to west London with an offer Inter may not be able to refuse.
That’s according to Corriere della Sera, which claims Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is keen to bolster Thomas Tuchel’s side with a marquee centre-forward signing.
The report adds Inter have not received an official offer, but they are already tempted by the huge money Chelsea are preparing to put on the table.
A nine-figure fee would make Lukaku the Premier League’s record signing, while the Belgian is no stranger to big-money moves having joined Chelsea, Everton, Manchester United and Inter for sums totalling almost £200million.
Lukaku spent a brief spell with Chelsea after arriving from Anderlecht in 2011 but failed to make an impression before joining Everton on loan in 2013 and permanently the following year.
The report from Italy explains Abramovich is desparate to give Lukaku a second chance at the Bridge and has sent his son to Milan to make contact with Inter chiefs.
Talks are understood to be underway, although the player himself appears to favour extending his stay at San Siro rather than moving back to the Premier League.
Inter chief executive Giuseppe Marotta recently declared Lukaku is not available for a transfer, “From our side, we can say yes absolutely, Lukaku is not for sale.
“Lukaku is an important piece on the chessboard available to Simone Inzaghi.”
Inzaghi replaced Antonio Conte as Inter manager earlier this summer after the latter fell out with his bosses over the club’s transfer policy, despite the fact he led the club to the league title.
The crux of the problem between Conte and Inter supremos related to the club’s financial crisis and need to sell players, which means Marotta’s resolve regarding Lukaku is not as strong as it may appear.
Inter parted ways with star wideman Achraf Hakimi earlier this month after agreeing an initial £51.3million fee with Paris Saint-Germain.
But the club’s finances remain in a dire state and the huge bid Chelsea are readying for Lukaku may convince them to cash in.