Chelsea lodged three bids before Romelu Lukaku realised their interest in him was serious, but he did not want to disrespect Inter after they rescued him from Manchester United.
Lukaku returned to Chelsea for a reported £97.5million (€115m) last month, departing Inter after two seasons in Serie A, having led the Nerazzurri to the title last season.
The former United forward excelled in Italy after a difficult two-year spell at Old Trafford, regaining the form that saw the Red Devils pay a reported £75m to sign him from Everton.
Lukaku scored on his second Chelsea debut, helping Thomas Tuchel’s team to a 2-0 win at Arsenal.
Reflecting on his move while on international duty with Belgium, Lukaku revealed he was swayed by how much the Champions League holders pushed to sign him.
However, he was grateful to Inter, and adamant he would not take an unfair route in order to secure a move back to west London.
“I didn’t want to go behind Inter’s back,” Lukaku said. “They got me out of the s***. I was in a deep hole at United.”
Speaking to VTM Nieuws, Lukaku said: “With Chelsea’s third offer, I knew it was serious.
“I only realised that Chelsea were serious when they made their third offer. First, they offered €100m. Then €105m, €105m plus [Marcos] Alonso. Then they offered €110m plus [Davide] Zappacosta, but Inter said no.
“After training I went to [coach Simone] Inzaghi’s office. I didn’t want to ruin the atmosphere because I was no longer in Milan in my head. So I asked him: please find an agreement.”
Lukaku netted twice in Belgium’s 5-2 win over Estonia on Thursday. On Sunday, he will make his 100th appearance for the national team should he feature against the Czech Republic.
“He is a legend of Belgian football, his statistics are fantastic,” Belgium coach Roberto Martinez said of Lukaku, who is the country’s record scorer with 66 goals.
“When I talk about Romelu, it’s always a bit subjective. I’ve been lucky enough to see Romelu grow as a player and he’s developed superbly.
“Tomorrow he will play his 100th international match and I think that should be a big party. Sometimes we take for granted what we have. But players like Romelu are rare, they should be enjoyed.”