Inter agree loan fee for Lukaku

Romelu Lukaku will return to Inter Milan on a one-year loan deal, it is understood.

Inter chiefs are thought to have struck an € 8m loan fee with the Blues, with Lukaku understood to have taken a pay cut to leave Stamford Bridge.

The Belgium striker only joined Chelsea in a club-record £ 98m deal last summer, but a number of controversies strained relations with the Blues.

Chelsea’s new co-owner Todd Boehly has put an immediate stamp on his tenure by giving the green light for Lukaku’s return to Inter.

US magnate Boehly has backed manager Thomas Tuchel over the decision to fly Lukaku return to Italy.

And once the 29-year-old’s Inter return is officially complete, the Blues will be able to turn attentions to a wider transfer business.

Chelsea will set about seeking a replacement, with the club understood to remain keen on Robert Lewandowski despite Poland’s hitman’s desire to swap Bayern Munich for Barcelona.

Catalan giants Barcelona’s continued financial issues could still open the door for Chelsea to pounce on Lewandowski’s unsettled situation.

Lukaku’s impending departure could yet point manager Tuchel towards a more fluid approach without a clear focal-point striker.

Chelsea hold strong interest in Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling, with the England forward open to leaving the Etihad Stadium with just one year left on his contract.

Chelsea’s next order of business after settling the Lukaku situation could well be to complete the long-mooted transfer of Sevilla’s Jules Kounde.

The France defender has made it clear for some months now that he is ready for the Stamford Bridge switch, but the two clubs will need to thrash out a fee.

Lukaku might have ended this season as Chelsea’s top scorer with 15 goals, but the vastly-experienced Belgium striker failed to live up to top billing.

A disastrous interview with Italian TV in December led to an apology to both Chelsea and the club’s fans in early January, after he had revealed his unhappiness in west London.

Despite several glimpses of hitting top form that never materialized, a move away now appears to suit all parties.

Lukaku is thought to have pushed for the move back to Inter in the end, and new Chelsea supremo Boehly has opted to clear the air by granting that switch.

Fabio Vieira in his new shirt

Arsenal have completed the signing of talented Porto midfielder Fabio Vieira.

The 22-year-old came through the Portuguese club’s youth system and has just helped Sergio Conceicao’s side win the league and cup double.

Vieira scored six goals and provided 14 assists in 27 league appearances last season for Porto, who he reportedly leaves in a deal that could reach € 40m.

Arsenal say Portugal Under-21 international has signed a “long-term contract” at the Emirates Stadium, with the transfer subject to the completion of regulatory processes.

“I’m thrilled, of course,” Vieira said of the move. “This is an important step forward in my career.

“Arsenal is a huge and historic club, so I’m delighted to be here at my new home,” Vieira said.

“I feel it’s the right move in my career. I think it will be really good for me and I have no regrets about it. I’m thrilled to be here.”

Vieira becomes Arsenal’s second signing of the summer, having last week completed the acquisition of 19-year-old Brazilian forward Marquinhos from Sao Paulo.

Vieira will wear the number 21 shirt in north London, with his arrival welcomed by manager Mikel Arteta and technical director Edu.

“I am very excited that we have identified and signed such a special talent,” boss Arteta said.

“Fabio is a very creative player that will bring high quality and versatility to our attacking play.

“We welcome Fabio and his family to our club and are looking forward to starting work with him ahead of the new season.”

Technical director Edu added: “We’re so pleased to have completed the signing of Fabio from FC Porto.

“Fabio is a player with special qualities who is comfortable with the ball in the final third of the pitch.

“We are all looking forward to working with him and enjoying his future contribution to Arsenal.

“We will now continue to work hard and are looking forward to finishing this transfer window as strongly possible.”

Nick Pope (L) is in demand after Burnley’s relegation

Newcastle hope to push home their interest in Burnley keeper Nick Pope as they step up efforts to bolster their squad ahead of the new season.

The Magpies are one of a series of clubs to have expressed interest in the 30-year-old England international and are keen to do a deal to bring him to Tyneside.

Pope has spent the last six years with the relegated Clarets and made 141 league appearances for them.

It is understood that Southampton, who have since signed Republic of Ireland international Gavin Bazunu from Manchester City, promoted Nottingham Forest, who have been linked with a season-long loan move for Manchester United’s Dean Henderson, and West Ham have also inquired about Pope.

Martin Dubravka is currently the man in possession, but a successful move for Pope would provide stiff competition for Slovakia international, who was backed up by Karl Darlow and Mark Gillespie last season with Freddie Woodman spending the second half of the campaign on loan at Bournemouth .

Newcastle have already completed a permanent deal for full-back Matt Targett, who enjoyed a hugely successful loan spell at St James’ Park as the Magpies edged across the Premier League finishing line.

The club’s new owners spent in excess of £ 90m in January in a bid to preserve their top-flight status – Kieran Tripper, Chris Wood, Bruno Guimaraes and Dan Burn, as well as Targett, were recruited in the process – but the rebuilding job is ongoing.

Eddie Howe has insisted his summer investment will be astute rather than wild, but his perceived spending power is once again making life challenging.

Lille defender Sven Botman, also a target for AC Milan, and Reims striker Hugo Ekitike remain on his wish list, but deals remain stubbornly out of his grasp with patience starting to wear thin.

Both men seem keen to consider their options, but the Newcastle hierarchy showed in January that they are prepared to move on if they don’t get the answer they want, and the time is fast approaching when those kind of decisions will have to be taken once again.

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