According to reports, the Premier League side are open to letting Lukaku leave on loan this summer, but such a deal would cost Inter Milan Martinez. The Argentine is thought to be an ideal striker for Thomas Tuchel’s side.
Lukaku was bought last summer for £98million but remains unsettled at Stamford Bridge. He looks certain to seal a temporary exit from the club this summer – with reports suggesting new owner Todd Boehly is ready to sanction Lukaku’s return to Inter – providing they stump up a £21m loan fee.
But according to Sportsmail, Chelsea are also exploring the possibility of bringing a player in from Inter as part of the deal. They have identified three players as possible parts of the deal. Martinez, Lukaku’s former strike partner, Milan Skriniar and Alessandro Bastoni, are the players who are lined up as part of the deal.
Since his return to London, Lukaku has failed to impress, scoring just eight times in the league. He infamously gave an interview to the Italian media, saying he was unhappy at the club back in December.
The Belgian and Martinez struck up a great partnership and friendship together at the San Siro, and the latter even named-dropped his former teammate – warning him not to join Chelsea because he would soon be back with him at Inter.
“Lautaro Martinez coming here with me at Chelsea in the future?” he said.
“No… Lautaro, you can stay in Milan, I’ll be back there (laughs).”
Martinez – who has also been linked with Tottenham and Arsenal – scored 25 goals in all competitions last season but has shown fierce loyalty to the club.