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Chelsea transfer news: Romelu Lukaku recommends Inter Milan's defensive duo

Milan Skriniar and Alessandro Bastoni
(Image credit: PA)

After failing to land Sevilla centre-back Jules Kounde, Chelsea are now considering alternatives, including two from Inter Milan.

According to Sport Mediaset, the returning Romelu Lukaku has suggested that the club take a closer look at a couple of his former teammates – Milan Skriniar and Alessandro Bastoni.

They both played alongside the Belgian striker last season as Inter claimed their first Serie A title since 2010, finishing 12 points clear of AC Milan.

News of these latest targets comes after Chelsea’s pursuit of Kounde ended in disappointment, with a deal unable to be completed before the end of the transfer window.

The French centre-back was identified as the perfect choice to strengthen the Blues’ defence, reducing their reliance on the ageing Thiago Silva.

But a compromise couldn’t be reached over the fee as Sevilla refused to budge on his £68million release clause.

Kurt Zouma was sold to West Ham United to make way for Kounde, who will now stay in Spain until at least January.

Chelsea still have several options available to them, with Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen, Cesar Azpilicueta, Trevoh Chalobah, Reece James and Silva all comfortable playing in a back three.

Despite conceding just one goal in their first four games of the Premier League season, defensive reinforcements are still on Thomas Tuchel’s agenda.

Skriniar is a 26-year-old Slovakian international who has made 170 appearances for Inter since arriving from Sampdoria in July 2017.

Bastoni is four years younger and came through the Atalanta youth system, moving to the San Siro for a fee of £28million later that same summer.

Mounting debts have forced Inter to sell several key players, including Achraf Hakimi and Lukaku, with the club still looking to shed high earners and raise funds.