Chelsea are in talks for Romelu Lukaku to join Roma on a season-long loan after the striker dramatically decided he does not want to join Juventus.
Lukaku’s late change of stance over his preferred club has forced Chelsea to change their strategy and allow him to leave on loan, having previously told the Belgian they would only consider permanent moves.
It is now expected that Lukaku will join Roma on loan for a season, but the Italian club are not expected to include an obligation to buy him.
Lukaku has been training with Chelsea’s Under-21s and has not even spoken to head coach Mauricio Pochettino, having reiterated his desire to leave Stamford Bridge after returning from a season on loan at Inter Milan.
Having seen Lukaku reject a huge offer to join Saudi Arabian club Al-Hilal early in the transfer window and effectively sabotage a potential return to Inter, who had seen bids of £23 million and £26 million rejected by Chelsea.
Chelsea rejected two proposals from Juve to pay a fee for Dusan Vlahovic and send Lukaku in the opposite direction. The first proposal was for Juventus to receive around £42 million and Lukaku for Vlahovic, while the second was £30 million plus Lukaku.
Lukaku, though, has decided that Juventus have taken too long to strike a deal for him, which has led to him informing Chelsea and his representatives that he wants to move to Roma on loan.
Lukaku has remained adamant that he does not want to move to Saudi, where Chelsea had hoped to send him, after turning down a lucrative offer from Al-Hilal, who have since spent a fortune on signing Neymar from Paris Saint-Germain.
Saudi sources had not ruled out the possibility of a Pro League club showing interest in Lukaku once the European transfer window has shut, but there was significant doubt over whether or not the player would even consider another proposal from the country – particularly as it would almost certainly be much lower than the one he rejected from Al Hilal.