Chelsea and Roma have reached an extraordinary agreement in principle for Romelu Lukaku to join the Italian club on loan for the season. After several days of intense negotiations, the three parties have finalized the deal, with Lukaku accepting a wage cut to facilitate his move to Rome. Chelsea will receive a loan fee of over £5 million, and Lukaku will earn just over £6 million during his time at Roma. However, he has also agreed to a further pay reduction if he returns to Chelsea next year.
Initially, Chelsea had intended to sell Lukaku this summer but faced setbacks when the Belgian rejected a move to Saudi Arabia, sabotaged a potential transfer to Inter Milan, and expressed disinterest in joining Juventus. As a result, a loan deal became the most viable option, although Chelsea made it clear that they would not be responsible for substantial payments should Lukaku come back next season. Roma represents Lukaku’s final opportunity in Europe, as a lack of success during this loan spell could potentially lead him to move to Saudi Arabia next year.
Securing Lukaku’s departure, even on a temporary basis, is a significant relief for Chelsea, who are now focused on signing a new attacking player before the end of the transfer window. While their pursuit of Sporting Lisbon’s Marcus Edwards and interest in Raphinha did not materialize, they may explore the possibility of acquiring Arsenal’s Emile Smith Rowe. Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino has emphasized the need for a Premier League-ready offensive addition to the squad.