Romelu Lukaku’s days as a Chelsea player appear to be numbered with the striker not featuring heavily in Mauricio Pochettino’s plans to revitalise a team that badly underperformed last season. Todd Boehly is also believed to be keen to get the high earner off the wage bill with Juventus currently looking like they may be the most likely destination for the Belgian.
The last truly convincing season from Lukaku did come in Serie A in 2020/21 when he scored 24 goals in 36 appearances for Inter. That was enough to seal what at the time was a club record £97.5m transfer to Chelsea, a decade after he’d initially joined the London club as a promising young forward with Anderlecht.
However Lukaku’s market value has significantly dropped in the last two years. He struggled during the 2021/22 Premier League and despite the huge transfer fee wasn’t a guaranteed starter. The Belgian international was left on the bench 13 times as he failed to reach double figures for league goals for the first time since his initial 2011/12 season at Stamford Bridge when he was still a teenager and only made one start.
A loan back to Inter followed after only one season back in England but again Lukaku struggled to hit the heights of old with only 10 league goals while he failed to make a single start in Inter’s brilliant run to the Champions League Final.
His decline means Chelsea would now most likely be willing to accept a fraction of the fee they paid for Lukaku only two summers ago. However the market for Lukaku isn’t as great as it once was and while they’ve been able to move some players on quite quickly over the past month, Chelsea are having a harder time finding a destination and a good fee for the 30 year old.
Romelu Lukaku to Juventus: Transfer Update
Romelu Lukaku and Juventus have an agreement in place over three year deal with option for further season. ⚪️⚫️🇧🇪
Juventus keep insisting on swap deal with Chelsea including €40m fee — still waiting for #CFC to decide on Dusan Vlahović.
Pochettino will be crucial. pic.twitter.com/Z7KnSVKdf2
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) August 2, 2023
According to Fabrizio Romano, Romelu Lukaku has already agreed terms with Juventus. The deal would be for three years with an option for a fourth with Lukaku clearly happy to return to Italy where he has played some of his best football.
However, there is no agreement yet in place between the two clubs. Chelsea would most likely prefer to receive an outright transfer fee for the striker as they continue to trim the squad and raise funds after two very expensive transfer windows where a host of new signings were made.
Juventus have reportedly offered Chelsea the opportunity to sign Dusan Vlahovic in a swap deal involving Lukaku that would also see Chelsea need to cough up around €40m.
The 23-year-old is one of the most promising young strikers in Europe but it’s unclear whether the striker would truly be a good fit for Mauricio Pochettino’s new-look Chelsea. The Blues have already signed Christopher Nkunku and Nicolas Jackson this summer but have also been linked with Vlahovic.
Therefore any deal for Lukaku to move to Turin may still be some way off and dependent on either Chelsea warming further to the idea of taking Vlahovic or Juventus coming back with a cash offer.