Why Chelsea haven’t given up on a return for Romelu Lukaku

There are less than three weeks to go until Chelsea face Arsenal in the Premier League and still no one can be sure who will be starting for them up front.

Chelsea beat their London rivals 2-1 in a pre-season friendly at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday, a welcome result ahead of the more important fixture at the same venue later this month given they had lost to them three times in the space of 12 months (2020 FA Cup final, plus both Premier League games last season).

One of Chelsea’s glaring flaws was still on show, though. There were plenty of positives, but taking chances wasn’t one of them. Kai Havertz and Tammy Abraham scored in each half but Thomas Tuchel’s side should have won more comfortably.

It’s a familiar script and that’s why, as every Chelsea fan knows, the club have been looking to buy a top centre-forward this summer. Most of the noise has centred on Erling Haaland and understandably so: he was identified as their first-choice target at the start of the year. But with Borussia Dortmund determined to keep him for another season, Chelsea have had to consider other options and they have been looking to woo an old flame in Romelu Lukaku.

Talk of Chelsea’s interest intensified in Italy last week. There were reports of offers being made to Inter Milan and personal terms being proposed to the centre-forward. So what is really going on?

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