Lukaku opens up after his return to Inter, aims dig at Chelsea, Thomas Tuchel

Romelu Lukaku has given his first interview after the return to Inter and there were several swipes at Chelsea and Thomas Tuchel, says ‘I remained in contact with Simone Inzaghi throughout last season, the teammates are my brothers.’

The striker left for a club record transfer fee of €113m last summer, having won the Serie A title, but immediately regretted it and had already been working on a comeback since at least his Sky Sport Italia interview in December 2021.

Now he is back on loan for €8m plus bonuses, accepting a 35 per cent pay cut to push through the move, and will wear the Number 90 jersey.

“It’s a strong feeling, I think back to what I felt a year ago with this team and it was a great moment for the team, the fans and me personally,” said the Belgium international.

“Inter gave me so much and I now hope to do even better than before.”

He was announced via a video on the roof of the Inter headquarters with President Steven Zhang, who said there was a sense of déjà vu.

“We talked about many things, like how it seemed impossible for me to come back here, but we did it, and I have to thank him too for continuing to push and believe it was possible. We did it in the end and I am very happy.

“It’s like coming back home. I think that my family and I were really happy in Milano thanks to the fans and my teammates. From the first day I arrived, everyone helped me so much.

“I kept hold of my home when I went to England, so that shows you something. Now I just want to get back on the field with the lads.”

What convinced Lukaku to come back to Inter just a year after leaving, especially as it will be with Simone Inzaghi rather than Antonio Conte?

“The affection of the fans and my teammates, but also the opportunity to work with the coach. I remained in contact with him throughout all of last season.

“I think the coach is doing well with the squad, so I want to contribute to doing what is best for this club.”

It’s safe to say Lukaku did not fit in with the tactics or man-management style of Thomas Tuchel, but he is a big fan of Inzaghi.

“I saw the team play really well last season. I was disappointed they weren’t able to win the Scudetto, but they won two very important trophies (the Coppa Italia and Supercoppa Italiana). Many players improved a great deal, we must continue like this.

“Now we are in a position to launch a challenge to all the others: we want to prepare the new season and continue the journey we are on.”

It had been reported over the last couple of weeks that Lukaku was busy ringing all his Inter teammates, and he confirmed that is absolutely true.

“I spoke to practically everyone. I thank them all, because I wanted to return here, but they also pushed for my comeback. I must thank them, because they are like a family: they are my brothers.”

There was another swipe at the criticism he received when playing for Chelsea under Tuchel.

“I am not an individualistic player, I always think about the team. I want Inter to win and will do everything possible both in training and on the pitch to help Inter win.”

Does he have a message for the fans?

“I am happy to be back here. I will give my all every day to make the fans and my teammates happy again.”

Real Madrid set to break 15-year truce with Atletico Madrid amid plan to sign starlet

Real Madrid are plotting their first youth signing from city rivals Atletico, after the end of a 15-year non-aggressive pact.

Right-back Jesus Fortea, born in 2007, is top of Real’s wish list of potential scoops from their crosstown foes, according to Marca.

The clubs had a verbal agreement between their respective presidents not to be aggressive at youth level, and it was in force for a decade and a half.

However, it was recently ended, which means Carlo Ancelotti’s Real and Diego Simeone’s Atletico might decide to ruthlessly try to take young talent from each other – with Real confident they will get the better side of that deal.

Fortea signed for Atletico from Levante three years ago, but seems to be on the verge of switching allegiances after his entourage met with Real.

The hit 15-year-old communicated on Saturday that he will not continue at Atletico, which has left the team angry they are losing a player of his calibre despite developing him over recent years.

One of the youngster’s agents, Toni Munoz, played an instrumental role in the transfer.

Neymar told he’s no longer wanted by Paris Saint-Germain

PSG star Neymar has been informed by club chiefs he is no longer wanted at Parc des Princes, reports suggest.

That is according to RMC Sport, who claim PSG are keen to rebuild without the star forward ahead of this coming season.

The Brazil international has been linked with a summer exodus from Paris this summer with the likes of Chelsea and Manchester United showing interest,

United, Chelsea and Newcastle would be the only realistic transfer options for Neymar if he does leave PSG, whom he joined for a world record £200million in 2017.

The Premier League trio are the only clubs with the financial might to meet the Parisians and the striker’s financial demands.

Todd Boehly hailed as “de facto director of football”

Todd Boehly has been hailed as the “de facto director of football” for his shrewd business acumen this summer.

The praise for Boehly came after he managed to steal Leeds ace Raphinha from under Arsenal’s noses.

And the impressive coup received plaudits from talkSPORT reporter Alex Crook.

He said: “With the new owner coming in, Todd Boehly, pretty much making himself the de facto director of football… we’ve got to say [Boehly] is backing his manager.

“We know that they’re keen on Matthijs de Ligt, and now this Raphinha deal has almost come from out the blue. They’ve come in on the blind side, they’ve hijacked the Arsenal deal.”

Chelsea make Jules Kounde assurance

Chelsea have reportedly assured Jules Kounde of their plan to finalize the defender’s transfer to the west London club before pre-season.

The Blues are keen to replace Antonio Conte and Andreas Christensen who left the London club for Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively.

According to ABC Sevilla, Koundé’s agent is in permanent contact with Chelsea and it is not ruled out the transfer will be finalised before the player returns for pre-season.

Chelsea and Barcelona hold the ‘most interest’ in Jules Kounde, but Sevilla have set a deadline of July 5 for an offer to be made.

After then, the asking price will increase and it will be closer to the €80M release clause.

Chelsea handed Skriniar blow as PSG make decisive move toward signing Inter Milan defender

Chelsea efforts to sign Milan Skriniar have suffered a setback as Paris Saint-Germain have reportedly agreed personal terms with the Inter Milan defender.

The Blues’ new owners want to give the fans a top defensive signing this summer following the departure of Antonio Rudiger.

As reported by Calciomercato.com, Chelsea are keen to compete with PSG for Skriniar, who seems to be the Inter player most likely to be sold this summer. The Nerazzurri want around €80m or €70m plus add-ons for the 27-year-old Slovakian centre back and they’ve made it clear that they’re not interested in players in exchange.

But, according to Get French Football News, PSG are confident they have agreed personal terms with Inter defender Skriniar.

The initial €50m plus bonuses bid was rejected, but they are expected to strike a deal for €70m including add-ons over the next few days.

Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur have also been linked with Skriniar, but Paris Saint-Germain remain the absolute favourites for the Slovakia international.