The Belgian striker is poised to complete his £98million move to Chelsea this week but his decision to move on has been met with a fierce reaction from sections of Inter Milan’s passionate fanbase
A mural situated in Milan depicting Romelu Lukaku has allegedly been defaced by a group of Inter Milan supporters ahead of his impending £98million move to Chelsea.
The Belgian striker is poised to complete a club-record transfer to rejoin the Blues after passing a medical on Monday, having agreed terms on a long-term contract.
The 28-year-old was pictured clutching a Chelsea shirt as he left in a car, having undergone a physical examination at a medical centre in Belgium.
He is now expected to fly to London to complete his return to the club a decade after he first joined the west London outfit.
The move has been met with fury by some sections at the San Siro after the club decided to accept Chelsea’s bid earlier this week.
And it appears they have made their feelings known after images emerged on social media of a mural in Milan, which claim to show Lukaku’s image was painted over.
The word “Welcome” had been covered with a black spray paint and the artwork of Lukaku had also been left partially defaced.
According to SportItalia’s journalist Gianluca Longari, Inter’s ultras group Curva Nord were allegedly responsible for the damage as a way of protesting the club’s decision to sell.
The Nerazzurri have been left in a dire financial state following the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Antonio Conte guided the club to their first Scudetto in a decade last season but resigned after it was claimed the club would sell their star players to raise funds.
Achraf Hakimi joined PSG in a deal worth £60m and it now looks as if Lukaku will join the exodus in heading for Stamford Bridge.
When originally quizzed about his future at Inter, Lukaku insisted he was happy to remain at the club in July.
“I’m thrilled to be back,” he told the club’s official website, before addressing the club’s fans.
“We hope to continue down the path that we’ve started and to keep winning. All the players will work hard to make your dreams come true.”
But it seems the striker has now performed a dramatic U-turn to join the Champions League winners for a second stint after they declared their interest.
Inter CEO Giuseppe Marotta had also refused to entertain the idea of Lukaku leaving after initially rejecting Chelsea’s offer, which was reported to be £85m plus Marcos Alonso.
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“From our side, we can yes absolutely, Lukaku is not for sale,” he told Sportmediaset.
“Lukaku is an important piece on the chessboard available to Simone Inzaghi.”
However, with pressure from the club’s owners, Suning Holdings Group and president Steven Zhang, the Italian giants reluctantly accepted the offer.
He will become Thomas Tuchel’s second summer signing after the arrival of goalkeeper Marcus Bettinelli.
In 2019, he opted to head to the San Siro in a £74m deal after falling out of favour under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
But in Italy he found his feet, scoring 24 goals in the Serie A last season — a total only bettered by Cristiano Ronaldo.
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