Inter Milan captain Samir Handanovic has said that on-loan Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku’s return to the Serie A club in the ongoing transfer window didn’t surprise him.
Lukaku, who joined Chelsea on a club-record deal worth £97.5 million last summer, sealed a move back to Inter Milan on a one-year loan deal last month. The two clubs agreed on a loan move worth up to £10.3 million, while the player agreed a 30-per-cent pay cut.
Lukaku scored 64 goals during his two-season stint for the Nerazzurri, guiding the club to the 2020/21 Serie A title. Earlier last year, the 29-year-old stirred controversy when he claimed in an interview with Sky Italia that he never wanted to leave Inter Milan.
Speaking to La Gazzetta dello Sport (via Football Italia), Handanovic shared his two cents on Lukaku’s summer move. He said:
“His return didn’t surprise me because I saw how he was at Chelsea, I listened to his famous interview, you could feel melancholy and nostalgia. You always have to know what locker room you go to and Rom knew that ours is healthy, cheerful, positive.”
The Inter Milan goalkeeper continued:
“In life, you often choose economic reasons in the beginning, but then well-being always takes over. If you are happy on one side, it’s normal you want to go back. I didn’t say anything to him, it wasn’t necessary. Rather I tease him, he still gets angry if he misses a little game! It’s as if he never left, he is the same person as before, then on the player the pitch will speak.”
Speaking about his association with Inter Milan, he said:
“For me, being at Inter since 2012 is honour and responsibility, but also belonging, identity. If I have stayed so long, it is because I’m happy here and there has been continuous growth, mine and the club’s. There is history here. I knew that after the hard times, the victories would come.”
Chelsea’s Kepa Arrizabalaga off to Italy too?
According to the Daily Mail, Napoli have submitted a proposal to sign Blues goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga on loan to fill the void left by David Ospina. The report also said a potential deal is likely, as the two clubs have been in regular contact this summer.
Arrizabalaga has three years left on his current deal at Stamford Bridge and has been rumored to depart London this summer. Last season, he featured in just 15 games for Chelsea across all competitions.