• Lukaku joined Inter Milan in the 2019 summer
  • He inspired Inter Milan to their first league title since 2009-10
  • He finished second in Serie A with 29 goals

Chelsea and Manchester City suffered a major transfer blow after Romelu Lukaku confirmed Wednesday that he will be staying at Inter Milan.

Lukaku, who was tipped to make a Premier League return after helping Inter Milan win the Serie A this season, revealed that he has reached a new agreement with Inter Milan after the club replaced Antonio Conte with the new head coach Simone Inzaghi.

"Yes, I am staying. I've already had contact with the man who will become our new manager. Maybe I shouldn't say that yet. It was a very positive conversation. There's also the challenge of [winning the league] again. I feel good at Inter," Lukaku said in an interview with Belgian TV station VTM’s DevilTime show, according to Goal.

Conte parted ways with Inter Milan after leading the San Siro side to their first Serie A title since the 2009-10 season.

Soon after the club broke Conte’s news, Lukaku took to social media to express gratitude towards the manager.

"I will keep your principles for the rest of my career (physical preparation, mental and just the drive to win). It was a pleasure to play for you! Thank you for all that you did. I owe you a lot," wrote Lukaku in a post on his official Instagram account.

Talking about Conte during the interview with DevilTime, Lukaku credited him for reaching the "heights as a player."

"The heights I have reached as a player are thanks to him. He repeats a lot, repeats tactical exercises. In the beginning, it was mostly individual, lots of videos to get tactically better. He was always constructive in his criticism. Not killing me off to kill me off, but killing me to make me better. If you do that every day, for a player like me, who is super focused on football, I could only become a better player. When I heard, he was going to leave, it was difficult because we have such a hungry group and guys who really work for the team. And then the cycle was suddenly stopped," added Lukaku in the same interview.

It was recently reported that Manchester City were seeing Lukaku as an ideal replacement for Sergio Aguero, who has ended his 10-year association with the Etihad club. Aguero has returned to Spain after joining FC Barcelona on a free transfer. Pep Guardiola has been a long-time admirer of Lukaku, who spent quite a few years in the Premier League before moving to Italy two years ago.

Meanwhile, Chelsea boos Thomas Tuchel wants to bolster Chelsea’s attack and Lukaku has been on his radar.

Lukaku spent two full seasons at Manchester United, scoring 42 goals in 96 matches, across competitions. In the summer of 2019, the Belgian striker joined Inter Milan at their club-record fee of $97 million. He has justified the price tag with consistent performances over the last two seasons with the Nerazzurri.

Inter Milan forward Romelu Lukaku (L) got his 20th league goal this season at Bologna.
Inter Milan forward Romelu Lukaku (L) got his 20th league goal this season at Bologna. AFP / Vincenzo PINTO

In his maiden term with Inter Milan, Lukaku scored 34 goals in 54 competitive games. He inspired Inter Milan to the Europa League final but they lost 3-2 to Seville. In the 2020-21 season, Lukaku finished second in the Serie A netting 29 goals, below leader Cristiano Ronaldo of Juventus.