Chelsea ‘make Romelu Lukaku U-turn’ as Mauricio Pochettino hatches new plan

Mauricio Pochettino previews Chelsea's clash with Luton Town

Chelsea are ready to ditch their commitment to selling Romelu Lukaku permanently this summer. Mauricio Pochettino and co are reportedly open to organising a loan deal for the Belgian, whose price tag has tumbled over the past two seasons.

Underwhelming seasons at Stamford Bridge and San Siro have seen Lukaku’s value plummet from the £98million Chelsea paid in 2021. Pochettino is well-stocked up front and has been open to a permanent sale all summer.

But no interested parties have met Chelsea’s financial demands, which has sparked a change in tactics with just one week of the transfer window remaining. According to The Athletic, a temporary move away is now being entertained in west London.

Roma and Juventus are reported to have enquired about the 30-year-old, who scored 10 goals in Serie A last season.

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Chelsea’s best chance of a permanent deal would come from the Saudi Pro League, with multiple sides believed to be weighing up a bid. Pochettino and Lukaku have reportedly maintained an amicable relationship throughout the summer.

The Argentine’s recent comments suggest that all parties have agreed on some form of exit as the best course of action, although Pochettino refused to close the door completely on phasing Lukaku back into the squad, just in case the striker is forced to stick around.

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“I accept the situation that was here when I arrived,” said the Chelsea boss. “The club and the player are both trying to find a solution. The future can change things. Life can change.

“I saw [Jurgen] Klopp say he’s not going to be in this business when we pay £100m [for players], and then they offered £100m and he said ‘Oh, I made a mistake’. That is the same situation.

“In football, the dynamic is fast and changes and we need to move on. Today, nothing has changed. If something changes we will adapt to the situation.”

With a season-long loan deal now under serious consideration, Chelsea have reportedly decided that any such arrangement should include an obligation to buy or a significant fee.

The best spell of Lukaku’s career came at Inter Milan between 2019 and 2021, although relations with the Nerazzurri went south earlier this summer amid rival interest from Juventus.

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