Inter Milan forward Romelu Lukaku admitted that he was very close to re-joining Chelsea in 2017.
Manchester United ended up signing him for £90m off the back of Jose Mourinho’s suggestion.
“For months I was negotiating with Chelsea, years – two years straight,” Lukaku told threesixtytv in 2019, via the Daily Star. “I was at Everton and we beat them in the quarter-finals. We won 2-0 and I scored two goals.
“Two weeks before that Chelsea called me, and said ‘You know, the coach that we’re going to get next year, he wants you next season.
“We’re not going to tell you who it is, but we’re going to tell you when it happens. So we played the game, we win 2-0, then they tell me who’s the coach. For two years I talked with Chelsea. One time it didn’t happen, because I didn’t want to put up a fight with Everton, so I stayed.
“Then the second year, I was like, I was going to Chelsea, I’m not going to lie. I was looking for an apartment, a house – an apartment for my Mum to stay in when she came, a house close to the practice facility so I don’t have to drive too far.”
He added: “And then Man U came. At Man U I felt the trust a bit more where everybody wanted me to be there. My agent got me the best opportunity for me, with the people who wanted me the most, and that was Man U, because everybody [at the club] wanted me.”