Chelsea may well be ready to finalise Romelu Lukaku's return to Inter Milan this summer – but the deal is being held up by the Italian club's president Steven Zhang over the asking price set by the Premier League side.
New owner Todd Boehly is said to be prepared to sanction the temporary departure in the hope that it 'benefits all parties', after a torrid season in which the Belgian forward ended up with just eight goals from 26 league outings.
Having cost the Blues £97.5 million last summer, they are thought to be keen on recouping a guaranteed €10million, which works out as £8.58m. However, this has not been jumped at by Zhang.
The Athletic report the requested fee comes alongside Inter covering Lukaku's full salary, with his current deal running until the summer of 2026.
Chinese businessman and chairman Zhang is said to have 'baulked' at the finance on the table, but there is said to be optimism an agreement can be reached this week.
Boehly is reportedly keen to get the Belgium international back to Serie A to keep all parties happy, with the London club also linked with a move for Raheem Sterling of Manchester City.
Would Raheem Sterling be a good replacement for Romelu Lukaku? Tell us in the comments section below.
A weekend update from transfer guru Gianluca di Marzio said Chelsea were confident over a deal being done this summer, which could be worth £35m.
The England international, 27, has only one year left on the City deal and might well want a new challenge after winning four Premier League titles across five seasons, but failing to win the Champions League.
Guardiola said of Sterling back in May: "If we count the amount games he played since we are together, it is a lot. He is a key player."
Adding: "In the future? I don't know what will happen.
"The club decides. When the club extends contracts, I give my opinion, but the club takes the decision, always."
Sterling has scored 91 goals across his 225 Premier League games for City since leaving Liverpool. But the winger has not enjoyed the same success in Europe and has had to look on with envy as both his former team on Merseyside and his possible future club Chelsea have lifted club football's greatest prize.
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