Inter are considering bringing Chelsea striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang back to the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza this summer, but it could be dependent on the future of loanee Romelu Lukaku.
As reported by La Gazzetta dello Sport, the Nerazzurri are set to be limited in the transfer market and will look for low-cost or free options, leading them to ex-AC Milan academy forward Aubameyang, as he faces an uncertain future at Stamford Bridge.
The former Gabon international only joined Chelsea from Barcelona in September as he sought to reunite with coach Thomas Tuchel, after working with the German tactician at Borussia Dortmund.
However, with Tuchel dismissed soon after, Aubameyang has struggled for form and playing time under replacement Graham Potter and the striker’s relationship with the coach has completely eroded, leading to him being left out of the Blues’ Champions League squad list.
Inter hoping for Chelsea contract termination
It is expected that Aubameyang will leave Chelsea at the end of the season, and Inter are monitoring his situation with a view to pouncing should his contract be terminated.
The 33-year-old has caused a great deal of anger in West London after linking up with his former Barcelona teammates to celebrate with them in the dressing room after a recent Clasico win over Real Madrid, and Aubameyang could be released just over a year on from having his Arsenal contract torn up to facilitate a move to Catalonia.
Having grown up in Milan and been part of the Rossoneri’s youth academy, whilst also still having family in the city, Aubameyang is thought to consider Italy home and would welcome a return to the San Siro.
Lukaku situation looms over move
A move for Aubameyang is dependant on him being available as a free agent, but also appears to be strongly linked to the future of Lukaku, himself on loan from Chelsea.
The Belgium international has struggled since returning to Inter this term, with Aubameyang considered a direct replacement for him, but should Lukaku rediscover his goalscoring touch then the Nerazzurri would be willing to alter their approach.
Lukaku netted a hattrick for Belgium against Sweden and there is a hope for Inter that he can carry this on at club level, prompting Inter to seek to renegotiate their loan agreement with Chelsea.
Alternatively, with coach Simone Inzaghi’s future at the club up in the air, Lukaku could remain if Inter hire a tactician who would favour his characteristics in attack.
Firmino and Thuram options fade
Whilst Inter have shown their interest in Aubameyang, they are also monitoring Roberto Firmino as he approaches the final months of his Liverpool contract.
The Brazilian has attracted interest from elsewhere in the Premier League though, whilst the Biscione are struggling to secure a deal with Borussia Monchengladbach‘s Marcus Thuram.
As such, it appears that Inter are ready to bank on Lukaku or hold out and wait for Aubameyang to become available in the summer.