Premier League • England

Secret Romelu Lukaku ‘exit agreement’ emerges, with Chelsea to incur eye-watering loss

Chelsea loanee Romelu Lukaku at Roma

Fabrizio Romano has divulged details of an “exit agreement” currently in place between Chelsea and misfit frontman Romelu Lukaku.

Lukaku, 30, cost Chelsea a staggering £97.5m when signed from Inter Milan in 2021. The Belgian’s second stint at Stamford Bridge has been just as unsuccessful as the first and within 12 months of returning, the club began exploring exit opportunities.

A loan back to Inter materialised and after Lukaku overcame initial struggles to score 14 in 37 matches, Inter sought a permanent move over the summer.

However, Inter broke off all negotiations once it became apparent Lukaku was also in discussions with bitter rivals Juventus.

When a move to Juve didn’t pan out either, the path was cleared for Jose Mourinho and Roma to forge a loan agreement.

As such, Lukaku’s future at Chelsea was put on hold for one more season. However, according to transfer guru Fabrizio Romano, Lukaku has the green light to leave if any club stumps up just £37m next summer.

At that price, Chelsea will be incurring a staggering £60.5m loss on a player who if this season is anything to go by, can still contribute at the highest level.

Indeed, Lukaku is thriving in the Italian capital and his recent brace in the 4-1 win over Cagliari brought his tally to seven goals in eight games for Roma.

Lukaku ‘exit agreement’ clarified; Will Roma take it up?

Speaking on his YouTube channel, Romano clarified Lukaku’s situation when stating: “From what I’m hearing there is kind of a clause. Not an [official] clause, but an exit agreement between Lukaku’s camp and Chelsea for the summer of 2024.

“There is s a fixed fee for Lukaku to leave Chelsea in summer 2024. This was part of the discussion they had after he joined Roma and Lukaku will be made available for a fee around £37m.

“So any club can go there and decide to pay that fee. Chelsea have no intention of spending the whole summer negotiating as is what happened this summer with Inter Milan, with Roma, and with other clubs.

“[Chelsea] know Lukaku will return next summer because there is no buy option in the loan, so they decided to put that price (£37m) on the player.

“So who wants to sign Lukaku now knows they have to pay £37m – there’s no [Chelsea] intention to discuss or negotiate (on the fee).

“Then obviously the final decision will be up to the player.”

While Romano stopped short of naming where Lukaku might end up, the likeliest outcome at present looks a permanent switch to Roma.

Lukaku is operating at just under a goal per game for the club and recently detailed his admiration for Roma boss Mourinho.

“As I have said in the past, the coach and I have a special relationship,” said Belgium’s all-time leading scorer. “He knows my family, he knows my children: he is someone I trust, as he has in me.

“He is also tough, as other coaches have been in the past, but it’s the only way I can grow as a player.”

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