Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino has left the door open to a reunion with striker Romelu Lukaku if the Belgian makes the first move.
Pochettino is yet to even speak with Lukaku, who has been training with the Under-21s after it was made clear early in the summer that a transfer would be in everyone’s best interests, but the 30-year-old rejected a move to Saudi Arabia and saw Inter end their pursuit.
Juventus remain keen on Lukaku but are yet to make a concrete offer for the striker, who they see as a replacement for Dusan Vlahovic only if the Serb leaves Turin.
With just one week remaining in the transfer window, an exit from Chelsea appears increasingly unlikely and now 90min understands the Blues are prepared to try and re-integrate Lukaku into the first team if manager Pochettino gives his blessing.
Asked whether Lukaku could return, Pochettino refused to close the door permanently.
“The situation has not changed,” he told Thursday’s press conference. “Like always I tell you in football, anything can happen. We’ll see what happens in the future but at the moment, the situation has not changed.”
Pochettino went on to stress that Lukaku must seek him out and speak with him about a future at Chelsea if anything is to change.
“If your wish and the club’s wish is to find some solution, it’s not me. It’s them that need to talk with me,” he explained. “In that case, the player and the club [must talk] with me and inform me that something changed. I’m not going to move until the club and the player want to talk with me. I am here.
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“I accept the situation was like this when I arrived. It was already known, the situation was there. I wasn’t able to change anything.
“In future, can things change? Always in football, in life can change. I saw [Jurgen] Klopp say ‘I am not going to be in this business when we should pay £100m’, and then they offer £100m and he said ‘Oh, I made a mistake’. That is the same situation. For sure, in football, the dynamic is fast and changes. At the moment, today, nothing changed.”
He added: “[With Lukaku], it was a situation which was really clear before we arrived here. That was a wish between the club and the player to try find a solution. At the moment, we are relaxed. Nothing happened. If something changes, we will inform you, but for the moment, nothing changed.”