Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku has revealed he turned down the chance to join Manchester City last year and that he “100 percent” wanted to stay at Inter Milan before moving to Stamford Bridge in the summer.
In the second part of his interview with Sky Italy, which was recorded earlier this month, Lukaku said he only joined Chelsea after Inter denied him a new contract at the club following their Serie A title win last season.
In the first part of the interview, Lukaku said that we was “not happy” with his situation at Chelsea following his return to the Premier League on a club record £97.5million move in August. Tuchel said Lukaku’s comments were a “surprise” and “not helpful” ahead of the Chelsea’s match against Liverpool on Sunday.
Lukaku joined Inter in 2019 after two seasons with Manchester United and scored 64 goals in 95 appearances across two campaigns with the Italian club. The Belgian international revealed the offer from Manchester City while adding that it would be a ”dream” to play for one of Real Madrid, Barcelona or Bayern Munich.
“When I was at Inter, at the end of the first year, I turned down an offer from Manchester City which was higher than Chelsea’s this summer,” Lukaku told Sky Italy in the second part of the interview released on Friday afternoon, following Tuchel’s news conference.
“I did it because it had only been a year, it wasn’t the right time to leave and I didn’t want to. I wanted to do something good for Inter, because I have to say that Inter saved my career to some extent.
“I was in a deep hole at Manchester United, things weren’t going well. I was a big investment for Inter but we did great things together.
“So the second year after we won the Scudetto, I went to speak with club chiefs and asked for a new contract. I did it because I told myself I’m 28 years old, my family feels great in Milan, I still have my flat there, my mother and my son could come and live there and we would all feel comfortable.
“But they didn’t want to extend my contract, the possibility wasn’t there. It was tough for me to accept, because in my head I told myself that I would be able to do a few more years in Milan.
“In my opinion, there are three absolute top teams in football: Real Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern Munich. Every player dreams of playing for one of these teams one day. So I thought if I ever had that possibility, I would sign a new contract with Inter and then go there.
“But it didn’t happen, so I told myself that there is only one team where I could possibly see myself – Chelsea. I wasn’t thinking about going there, but at one point they came in for me and I asked [Inter manager Simone] Inzaghi to leave.
“The fact that they didn’t try to make me sign a new contract bothered me a bit, it hurt me even. If Inter offered me a new contract, I would have stayed 100 percent. That goes without saying.
“Also the fact that I hadn’t won anything in England in eight years there bothered me a lot. So it was hard to turn down the chance to come back here with the team I have supported since I was a child.”
Lukaku, who has scored five Premier League goals in 13 appearances since re-joining Chelsea in what has been an injury-hit spell, also reiterated his “love” for Inter and said he would like to return to the club before the end of his career.