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Spurs: Antonio Conte now leading Romelu Lukaku race

Tottenham Hotspur have been handed a boost in their bid to bring Romelu Lukaku to north London in the summer transfer window.

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Transfer Focus

That’s according to a report by Italian publication Corriere dello Sport (via Sport Witness), who claim that Antonio Conte is now in an advantageous position in his pursuit of the Chelsea centre-forward, as Tottenham have the money to close a deal for the 29-year-old this summer – unlike Inter Milan.

The report goes on to state that, while the Belgium international is keen on the idea of a return to Serie A, Lukaku would also find it difficult to say no to sealing a reunion with the 52-year-old at Spurs.

Meanwhile, from the Blues’ point of view, it is believed that Thomas Tuchel would very much welcome the money received from the permanent sale of the striker – even if it meant selling Lukaku to a direct rival in the Premier League.

“Out of this world”

While it is true that, following his £97.5m move to Chelsea last summer, Lukaku did not enjoy the best campaign of his career in 2021/22 – scoring 15 goals over 44 appearances for the Blues in all competitions – considering just how effective the 29-year-old was for Conte at Inter, it is not difficult to see why the Italian would like to work with the forward once more at Tottenham.

Indeed, over his 95 fixtures under the 52-year-old at Inter, the £76.5m-rated talent bagged a quite astonishing 64 goals and provided his teammates with 17 assists – averaging a direct goal involvement every 96 minutes over the course of his two-year stay at the San Siro.

The £350k-per-week forward most impressed over his 36 Serie A appearances in 2020/21, scoring 24 goals, registering 11 assists and creating ten big chances, as well as averaging a SofaScore match rating of 7.32 – ranking him not only as Conte’s best performer in the league but also as the joint 12th-best player in the division as a whole.

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As such, should Conte believe that he can help the player who Luis Miguel Echegaray dubbed both “out of this world” and “ridiculous” refind this form at Tottenham, the centre-forward’s reported £85m asking price would appear well worth paying, as a peak-performing Lukaku would undoubtedly help to transform Spurs from a top-four contender to a title challenger under the 52-year-old next season.

AND in other news: “As of today…”: Romano reveals huge Spurs transfer twist, supporters will be gutted