Romelu Lukaku agrees Roma loan as Chelsea hold out for higher fee
Romelu Lukaku has agreed to a wage cut to try and facilitate a loan exit from Chelsea to Roma, 90min understands.
After failing to find a permanent buyer for Lukaku, who has rejected multiple approaches from Saudi Arabia throughout the summer, Chelsea have begrudgingly decided to let Lukaku depart on loan once again.
Roma soon emerged as the likeliest landing spot for Lukaku, but the Belgian’s high wages and Chelsea‘s refusal to pay a penny towards his earnings away from the club threatened to complicate proceedings.
To try and facilitate a move, 90min understands Lukaku has agreed to cut nearly a third of his salary and has shaken hands with Roma over a temporary contract at the Stadio Olimpico.
However, Chelsea also want a sizeable loan fee and have not yet reached an agreement with Roma.
Chelsea are seeking £9m to part ways with Lukaku and Roma, who have limited flexibility when it comes to Financial Fair Play, have only offered around half that figure thus far.
The two clubs remain hopeful of reaching an agreement and there is a confidence that a deal will be struck before the transfer window closes on Thursday.
Lukaku’s immediate future has a significant impact on Chelsea’s remaining departures as the 30-year-old, should he move to Roma as expected, will take up one of just two free loan spots for the remainder of the season.
Having initially hoped to sell Lukaku permanently, Chelsea used five of their seven spots on David Datro Fofana, Kepa Arrizabalaga, Hakim Ziyech, Gabriel Slonina and Angelo.
Lukaku is now set to become the sixth senior overseas loan, which will force Chelsea into a rethink as the Blues work out what to do with the other players earmarked for temporary exits.
Midfielder Lesley Ugochukwu had been expected to join Angelo at Ligue 1’s Strasbourg, with £17m signing Deivid Washington also tipped to make that move, but there will not be space for both players if Lukaku’s switch to Roma goes through.
Chelsea had also hoped to keep a handful of spots open for emergencies as they approached the end of the transfer window, with centre-back Malang Sarr potentially needing a temporary move after failing to find any permanent interest.