We are now approaching the final week of the 2023 summer transfer window. There has been no shortage of Romelu Lukaku transfer news over the past few months with plenty of possible destinations, but no move has yet materialised for the Belgian with Chelsea now believed to be reluctantly considering loaning the striker out.
The club were always keen on a permanent move for Lukaku who is clearly not part of Mauricio Pochettino’s plans moving forwards. However the player’s high wages and the kind of transfer fee that would have been involved, have clearly put off potential suitors.
To some extent that’s understandable. Lukaku is now 30 years old and has not been at his best in the last two seasons. In fact, little has gone right for the striker since he made a £97.5m move from Inter to Chelsea in the summer of 2021.
Lukaku made just 16 Premier League starts, scoring only 8 times in the 2021/22 season, before being loaned back to Inter where he only started half of the club’s Serie A matches last term, scoring 10. It’s only natural that many clubs now look at the player as somebody whose best years are behind him and it’s not a huge surprise that we’ve reached the last week of the transfer window with Lukaku having not made a permanent exit from Chelsea.
Chelsea open to loan move
🚨 Chelsea have decided to let Romelu Lukaku exit on temporary basis if no sale agreed. #CFC & 30yo’s reps working all summer for permanent but now open to loan + obligation or straight loan + meaningful fee. Interest from #Juve #ASRoma #SPL @TheAthleticFC https://t.co/sXO6Eb7kOe
— David Ornstein (@David_Ornstein) August 25, 2023
Even a serious knee injury for new forward Christopher Nkunku has not been enough to convince Pochettino that Lukaku could still have a role to play in West London. Fellow new arrival Nicolas Jackson has started the opening two Premier League games for the Blues with Lukaku not even in the matchday squads.
With deadline day a week away, Chelsea are now believed to be open to loaning the player out. Their preference is likely to be a deal with an obligation to buy, but they may struggle to find a club willing to accept such terms meaning a straight loan deal with a sizeable loan fee is a distinct possibility.
That raises the possibility that Chelsea could find themselves in exactly the same situation next summer with Lukaku who still has three years to run on his present deal. Should he again struggle to reproduce his best form on loan during the 2023/24 campaign, the Premier League club may find it even harder to move Lukaku on permanently next year.
Romelu Lukaku transfer news – New front-runner emerges
— B/R Football (@brfootball) August 25, 2023
Lukaku has recently emerged a potential target for Tottenham while he has previously been linked to both Milan clubs and Juventus this summer. However a new Italian club has now emerged as a potential destination for the striker with Chelsea now open to accepting loan offers.
That club is Roma who are of course managed by former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho. The side from the Italian capital are currently short on forward options with Tammy Abraham a long-term injury absentee. The Englishman will miss the majority of the 2023/24 season making Lukaku an attractive option on a season-long loan deal.
Right now, it appears to be Roma who are pushing hardest for Lukaku. However this transfer saga has run and run with numerous twists already, so it’s quite possible that there will be fresh developments over the coming days.
What seems certain is that Lukaku will leave Chelsea before the transfer window shuts next week. There has also been talk of Barcelona and PSG entering the race to sign the striker on loan so Roma may have to fight off significant late competition if they want to get their man.