Lautaro Martinez has delivered a fresh blow to in their search for a new striker after confirming he wants to stay at Inter Milan this summer.
The 25-year-old enjoyed a fruitful campaign in Serie A last season, scoring 21 goals in 35 appearances and was on target for Argentina at Wembley on Wednesday night against Italy in the Cup of Champions.
is believed to be looking for a new centre-forward and has been , whose contract runs until 2026.
However, the Argentine – who enjoyed an excellent partnership with – does not expect to leave San Siro in the transfer window despite interest from Chelsea as well as Tottenham.
Speaking after his nation’s 3-0 win over Italy, he said: ‘My plan is clear: I really want to stay at Inter next season.
‘I’ve not received communications from the club as of today, I want to continue at Inter next season.’
Martinez’s announcement is a setback for the Blues who are desperate to improve their attack after a poor showing in front of goal last season.
Lukaku, signed from Inter for £97million last summer, only scored eight Premier League goals.
Meanwhile, Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech bagged just four each, compounding the attack’s disappointing return.
All three players have been linked with moves away this summer as Tuchel looks to add more ruthlessness up front.
Besides Martinez, the German is reportedly interested in Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski, although the 33-year-old is thought to favour a move to Barcelona.
Elsewhere, concerns remain in defence with Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger departing on free transfers, leaving just Malang Sarr, Thiago Silva and Trevor Chalobah as centre-back options.
The west Londoners are said to be interested in Sevilla’s Jules Kounde and Paris Saint-Germain’s Presnel Kimpembe.
However, with both players expected to cost considerable fees, it remains to be seen how much will be left to invest in Chelsea’s attack.
, ., and .