Chelsea have received a greenlight in the race to sign Inter Milan striker Romelu Lukaku after Inter Milan president Steven Zhang admitted the Italian club “must reduce costs and control risks” in order to combat their financial difficulties this summer.
Inter Milan have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic and may be forced to sell some of their most prized assets to balance the books.
“From the first moment we took over Inter we thought that [Antonio] Conte would be the best coach for our project,” Zhang told Gazzetta Dello Sport.
“Two years ago we finally managed to bring him to the Nerazzurri.
“I was and remain convinced that Conte is a winning coach: this is the reason that led us to invest so much in him and in the team in the last two years.
“Last summer the pandemic had greatly affected our revenues but we continued with him, focusing on the season convinced that we could win.
“The decision was right, but now the bill brought by the pandemic is such that we cannot fail to review the situation by looking for savings that lead to a future budget balance.
“We must reduce costs and control risks. This obviously also influences the transfer market strategy. Our different views on the situation led to the separation.
“What wasn’t fundamental for him, was for the club, and vice-versa. Conte is a top coach, but as president, I have to think about the solidity of the club.”