ROMELU LUKAKU will count as a homegrown player if Chelsea pull off their stunning £100million transfer.
The Blues are pushing to bring back their former striker from Inter Milan after being priced out of a move for Erling Haaland.
Borussia Dortmund want in excess of £150m for the Norwegian superstar.
But bagging Lukaku will come with an added benefit of the Belgian ace qualifying as homegrown.
To classify as homegrown, a player must have been 'trained by their club or by another club in the same national association for at least three years between the ages of 15 and 21'.
Chelsea signed Lukaku from Anderlecht in 2011 when he was 18 years old, and he was contracted with them until 2014, meaning he served his three-year period.
The Premier League stipulate each squad must have a minimum of eight homegrown players.
Lukaku joining as a homegrown asset opens up a realm of possibilities for the Blues – most-notably that they can chase an extra foreign import, opening the door for a big-money signing.
BLUES CLOSING IN
For now, Chelsea must battle to get the deal over the line.
Inter are demanding the Blues stump up at least a record-equalling £100million for Lukaku after the striker made it clear to the Italian champions he wants to return to Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea have seen two bids for the Belgian striker knocked back – the last valued at £85m, which included full-back Marcos Alonso going the other way.
But the two clubs are now working hard to reach an agreement with the 28-year-old informing the Serie A champions he wants out.
Lukaku had turned down an approach from Manchester City towards the end of last season because he was so settled at the Serie A champions.
But once Inter informed the squad budgets would be cut and they would sell rather than strengthen the squad, the ex-Manchester United star’s position began to change.
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Achraf Hakimi has already been sold after starring throughout the title-winning campaign, while Lautaro Martinez could soon be off too.
Having shown loyalty after City’s approach, Lukaku did not want to miss out on another opportunity to play for one of the best sides in Europe in the knowledge Inter would be unable to compete.
So he told them it was not a case of offering a wage rise to get him to stay, and instead requested they accept the right bid when it comes in and let him return to the Premier League.
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