Chelsea FC have re-signed striker Romelu Lukaku for a club-record £97.5m from Inter Milan, surpassing the previous record purchase of Kai Havertz for £75.8m last summer.
Lukaku had initially joined the Blues as a 17-year-old from Belgian side Anderlecht in 2011, and made 15 appearances before leaving for Everton.
After leaving Chelsea in 2014, Lukaku became one of the most prolific strikers in Europe, scoring 87 goals in 166 games for Everton between 2014 and 2017, and 42 goals in 96 appearances during his two-year stay at Manchester United before signing for Inter in 2019.
The 28-year-old scored 24 goals in Serie A last season, helping Inter to their first Scudetto in 11 years as the club put an end to Juventus’ nine-year reign as Italian top-flight champions.
It’s homecoming for the Belgian who signed a five-year contract to help Thomas Tuchel’s side — which on Wednesday night defeated Villarreal on penalities to emerge winners of 2021 Super Cup.
“I’m happy and blessed to be back at this wonderful club,” Lukaku was quoted as saying by the club website.
“It’s been a long journey for me: I came here as a kid who had a lot to learn, now I’m coming back with a lot of experience and more mature.
“The relationship I have with this club means so much to me, as you know. I have supported Chelsea as a kid and now to be back and try to help them win more titles is an amazing feeling.
“The way the club is going fits my ambitions perfectly at 28 and just coming off winning Serie A. I think this opportunity comes at the right time and hopefully we can have a lot of success together.
“Since I left Chelsea, it’s been a long journey with a lot of ups and downs, but these experiences made me strong and the challenge is to try to help the team win some more trophies. I can’t wait to get started and to help the club achieve more success.”