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Inter have surprisingly pulled out of the race to sign Romelu Lukaku from Chelsea this summer after the player had initial talks with Juventus for a potential transfer. Sky Italy reported that Inter agreed terms with Chelsea for the Belgian striker for around €35 million after weeks of talks. However, following the agreement between the clubs, the agent of the player, Sebastien Ledure, didn't finalize the agreement between the Italian club and Lukaku while having initial talks with multiple clubs including AC Milan and Juventus over the past weeks. 

This behavior by both the agent and Lukaku was not appreciated by the directors of Inter who were expecting a different attitude after the player himself openly spoke about his desire to come back. In fact, as per La Gazzetta dello Sport, Inter sporting director Piero Ausilio called Lukaku and informed him that the Nerazzurri were going to pull out of the race to sign him permanently this summer. The Italian club will now look elsewhere to replace him and are already looking for a new striker with U.S. men's national team talent Folarin Balogun also on the list of names that will be considered, per reports. 

Lukaku joined Inter in the summer of 2019 from Manchester United for around €80 million as he was identified by former Inter coach Antonio Conte as the perfect striker for his side. After winning the 2020-21 Serie A title, Chelsea signed the Belgian striker for a record fee of €115 million, but after a few months Lukaku himself announced to Sky Italy his desire to come back to Inter in the near future. In the summer of 2022, only one year after he left, Lukaku made his comeback to Italian soccer on loan for one season where he struggled due to injuries and scored 14 goals in 37 games in all competitions. After going back to Chelsea, Inter started to talk with the English side over a permanent transfer, while Lukaku refused to agree terms with Saudi clubs in the past weeks, as his desire was to re-join Inter, or at least this is what the Nerazzurri believed. 

Chelsea were also left shocked about the surprising news after they agreed terms with Inter for the permanent transfer. Lukaku is due to join the pre-season training camp on Monday but it's not clear now what will happen in the coming days. Juventus, per Sky Italy, offered the same money to Chelsea but only if Serbian striker Dusan Vlahovic leaves the Bianconeri this summer. Juventus were also in the race to sign Lukaku in the summer of 2019 with Manchester United, but Inter managed to win the race to sign him only because Paulo Dybala refused to agree terms with the English team, as he was potentially involved in a swap deal with Lukaku. Three years after, the story might not be over.