Romelu Lukaku was an iconic figure for Inter Milan fans after his goals fired them to their first title in over a decade – but they have not forgotten the manner of his exit
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Inter Milan’s ultra group have warned Romelu Lukaku that they have not forgotten how he “betrayed” them by joining Chelsea – and he will have to earn their respect again.
The Belgium international, 29, is set to re-join the Nerazzurri on a season-long loan deal after a disappointing campaign under Blues boss Thomas Tuchel last season. He has scored just eight Premier League goals for the Blues since his .5 97.5million move from the Italian giants last summer.
Inter have agreed a £ 7million loan fee with Chelsea for Lukaku and he has accepted a significant pay cut to make the move happen – with his weekly wage dropping from £ 325,000 to £ 210,000. The former Manchester United striker was prolific during his last spell at Inter, scoring 64 goals in 95 games to earn the adoration of the club’s fanbase.
In a fresh development, the Italian club’s ultra group, Curva Nord, have released a statement on social media which outlines their disapproval of how the Belgian left them a year ago. They warned the player that while they would not openly oppose his return or jeer him, there would be no hero’s welcome awaiting him.
Lukaku’s goals fired Inter to the Serie A title in the 2020-21 campaign – their first Scudetto in 11 years – with the striker becoming an icon for the club and its fanbase. However, that goodwill was destroyed by the manner of his exit to Stamford Bridge.
The full statement from Curva Nord reads: “Since Lukaku’s return to Inter is very likely, some points need to be made clear: The Curva Nord supports Inter and will not make any objection to the player (despite last summer’s behavior); Given this no one should go to welcome him with scarves or banners of the Curva or of the groups that compose it;
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“Everything that in the future will eventually be done towards him will have to earn it on the pitch with humility and sweat… He was supported (and treated) like a King, now he is one like many. Let us also be clear to everyone that we will never cheer against Lukaku if he wears the Inter shirt again.
“However, we invite all Inter fans not to fall into the opposite trap, that of running immediately and drooling after him. In addition to a clear instinctive emotional aspect, pretending that nothing has happened, would only give a further acceleration to that process that has been going on for years aimed at making us all stupid and supine consumers.
“We are and must remain HEART – SOUL – GRIT – INTERISM. We are not gentlemen at the mercy of the moves of players and clubs. We took note of Lukaku’s betrayal and we were very upset. To a footballer these things can be forgiven over time, but they remain. Now Romelu long ball and pedal. ”