Chelsea have been dealt a major blow in their pursuit of a new striker as Romelu Lukaku ruled himself out of a move.
The Belgium international, who made 15 appearances for the Blues earlier in his career, had emerged as Chelsea’s leading transfer target.
Antonio Conte’s departure as Inter manager last week seemed to strengthen their chance of re-signing Lukaku.
Inter are experiencing financial difficulties and could cash in on several first-team players this summer.
Reports suggest Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel will be given up to £200 million to spend on recruitment ahead of next term.
However, he will have to look elsewhere for a new centre forward after Lukaku, who has also been linked with Manchester City, reaffirmed his commitment to the Italian champions.
‘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,’ the striker told VTM.
‘It was a very positive conversation. There’s also the challenge of [winning the league] again. I feel good at Inter.’
Lukaku was also full of praise for Conte, who is the front-runner to succeed Jose Mourinho as Tottenham boss.
‘The heights I have reached as a player are thanks to him,’ Lukaku added.
‘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.’
Simone Inzaghi has been installed as Conte’s replacement as Inter manager.
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