EPL

Romelu Lukaku tells Lautaro Martinez to reject Chelsea interest and stay at Inter

By Sports Desk December 31, 2021

Romelu Lukaku hopes to rekindle his striker partnership with Lautaro Martinez, but has told his former team-mate to stay at Inter rather than join him at Chelsea.

Chelsea brought in Lukaku from Inter for a reported club-record fee of £97.5million (€115m) and have since been tipped to move for fellow frontman Martinez in the new year.

The pair scored and assisted a combined 125 goals during Lukaku's two seasons at San Siro – 76 direct goal involvements for Lukaku and 49 for Martinez.

Thanks to their link-up play, Inter were the fourth highest-scoring team across Europe's top five leagues between Lukaku's first and last game for Inter, netting 152 times.

There has recently been suggestions that Chelsea may look to bring Martinez to Stamford Bridge, though Lukaku would rather the Argentina international remain at Inter.

"I miss Lautaro Martinez, I could die on the pitch for him since day one I met him," he told Sky Sport Italia.

Asked if he wanted Martinez to join him at Chelsea, a laughing Lukaku replied: "No… Lautaro, you can stay in Milan! I'll be back there."

Lukaku was speaking as part of a wide-ranging interview conducted by the Italian outlet earlier this month and published across two days on Thursday and Friday.

In the first part of the interview, Lukaku admitted he is "not happy" with his situation at Chelsea and outlined his desire to return to San Siro in the future.

He added that he was "hurt" to see boss Antonio Conte, the man who guided Inter to their first Scudetto in 11 years last season, depart shortly before his own exit to Chelsea.

Conte has since followed Lukaku to London by taking over as Tottenham head coach in November and he has made an instant impression at his new club.

The Italian is unbeaten in his first seven league games, making him the first Tottenham boss to ever do so, and Lukaku has tipped his former coach for big success at Spurs.

"I speak regularly with Conte, not just about football but life in general," he said.

"It hurt me when he left Inter, it was one of the toughest moments for me but I didn't leave because of him. I knew that we could still win things at Inter with [Simone] Inzaghi.

"I think Conte at Spurs could do what he did at Inter in Serie A. But he also knows that our Chelsea team is really strong. 

"I see him as an opponent in the league, I never won against him so that's an extra motivation for me.

"He was a massive influence on my career. He helped me on a mental level, he taught me how to be a professional and how to make sacrifices on and off the pitch."

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