ROMELU LUKAKU has declared he turned down a lucrative move to Manchester City in 2020 and only departed Inter Milan after they refused to offer him a new deal.
The 28-year-old eventually joined Chelsea in the summer in a club-record £97.5million transfer where he spoke of his delight at returning to Stamford Bridge.
But the Belgium international has since sensationally revealed he wishes to return to the San Siro after stating he is unhappy in West London.
His explosive comments infuriated boss Thomas Tuchel, who has promised showdown talks with the ex-Manchester United centre-forward.
And in fresh quotes from the second part of his interview with Sky Sport Italia, Lukaku has insisted he wanted to remain in Italy.
He said: “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.
“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 [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 per cent. 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 been vocal over his lack of game time, was hampered by an ankle strain earlier in the season before he tested positive for Covid.
However he has still featured in 18 games under Tuchel, where he has chipped in with seven goals and two assists.
Though the former Everton ace has started just one of his last six top-flight appearances.
Despite his unhappiness at Chelsea, it is understood the club have no intention of parting ways with him in January.
Read our Transfer News Live blog for the very latest rumours, gossip and done deals