Inter Milan's potential 2022-23 XI featuring the returning Romelu Lukaku
Romelu Lukaku is closing in on a return to Inter Milan on loan this summer after enduring a difficult first season back at Chelsea.
The Belgian striker has made it abundantly clear that he wants to return to the San Siro after a poor season at Stamford Bridge, in which he scored 15 goals in 44 appearances after he returned to west London in a club record deal worth £97.5million.
New Chelsea co-owner Todd Boehly looks to have sanctioned Lukaku’s departure and the 29-year-old will be hoping to rekindle his best form in Milan.
According to Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport, Inter owner Steven Zhang has agreed to a loan package that is worth a £6m initial fee with an extra £1.7m in potential bonuses.
Lukaku only made 16 Premier League starts under Thomas Tuchel from which he scored eight goals, but Kai Havertz was often favoured ahead of the former Manchester United striker to lead the line.
Inter were pipped to retaining the Scudetto by their arch rivals AC Milan who won their first Serie A title in 11 years.
Simone Inzaghi will be hoping Lukaku’s return proves the difference in next season’s fight to reclaim the league crown.
With Lukaku close to sealing a return to Italy, TBR takes a look at Inter Milan’s potential 2022-23 XI.
Inter Milan’s potential 2022-23 XI
Transfer expert Fabrizio Romano has confirmed that Andre Onana has joined Inter Milan on a free transfer from Ajax and the Cameroon international is likely to become the club’s new number one and replace Samir Handanovic.
In order to fund Inter’s transfer business this summer given their financial constraints, it looks like Milan Skriniar, who is attracting interest from Paris Saint Germain, could be the high-profile star to depart Inter this summer.
The Ligue 1 champions have already had a bid turned down for the centre-back, according to Romano, but a new proposal for the Slovakian is expected to be lodged.
Skriniar’s departure could potentially see Alessandro Bastoni and Denzel Dumfries, who have been linked with moves to the Premier League this summer, stay at the San Siro, as well as signing Torino centre-halve Gleison Bremer who could replace Skriniar and line up alongside Bastoni and Stefan de Vrij in a three-man defence.
Inzaghi is likely to retain the same 3-4-1-2 formation which allows attack-minded wing-backs Robin Gosens and Dumfries to gallop forward, maintain the width and be constant attacking outlets.
Marcelo Brozovic and Nicolò Barella are likely to remain at the heart of Inzaghi’s midfield. Only Domenico Berardi (14) registered more assists than Barella (12) in Serie A last season.
The Argentine will be a free agent when his contract at Juventus expires at the end of this month, and the talented left footer could well be deployed in a free role behind Lukaku and his compatriot Lautaro Martínez.
Martinez scored 21 goals in Serie A last year and the season prior both him and Lukaku scored 41 league goals between them, under Antonio Conte, to fire Inter to their first league title in 11 years.
In his two seasons at Inter Lukaku scored 64 goals and supplied 16 assists from 95 matches. After enduring a difficult return to England, Belgium’s all-time top scorer will no doubt have a point to prove and with him already tasting success in Italy – there is every chance he’ll pick up where he left off at the San Siro.
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