Chelsea star wanted by Antonio Conte at Napoli this summer: Reports

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Southampton FC v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League
Southampton FC v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League

Antonio Conte is reportedly keen on a reunion with Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku at Napoli. The Italian manager is seemingly set to take over at the Serie A club this summer and is said to be eyeing a move for the Belgian.

As per a report in Corriere Della Sera, Napoli are bracing themselves for Victor Osimhen's departure this summer and have already started planning for a replacement. The Italian side want Osimhen's €130 million release clause activated and are confident that one of Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Chelsea will pay the big bucks for the Nigerian.

Incoming manager Conte, who will reportedly replace Francesco Calzona this summer, has already set sights on Lukaku and has informed Napoli of the same. The Belgian forward, who spent the 2023/24 season on loan at AS Roma, does not want to return to Chelsea and has a £37 million verbal release clause.

Conte and Lukaku worked together at Inter Milan and won the Serie A. The Belgian star has scored 64 times in 95 matches under the Italian manager.

Antonio Conte praised Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku back in 2022

Antonio Conte spoke about Romelu Lukaku in 2022, stating he was confident the striker would bounce back after a disastrous season at Chelsea. He claimed that the Belgian had the potential to succeed in the Premier League but hinted that the striker was not used properly.

He told the media (via 90MIN):

"We are talking about a big amount of money for a player and I think we are talking about a really important striker in the world. But sometimes a situation outside of football happens and I think Romelu lived two years in Milan and he was the king.
"The fans showed him a lot of passion and I think he's a guy who needs this. And for this reason, I think he wanted to go back to Milan. But, for sure, the signing was a good signing for Chełsea. Then, you know very well there are players that need more time to make an impact. But, for sure, he was a good signing for Chelsea."

He added:

"He has the potential to play in the Premier League. I remember very well when he started to play last season, he played really well and you in the media said Lukaku is really strong. A lot of things can happen for the confidence to drop. Now it's right for him to play for an important club in Italy to try to get again confidence in himself. But we are talking about a really important, a really good striker."

Lukaku is reportedly attracting interest from the Saudi Pro League with rumors linking him with Al Hilal and Al Ittihad.

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