Chelsea’s Romelu Lukaku in Talks for a Potential Move to Saudi Arabia
Chelsea’s striker Romelu Lukaku is reportedly in Saudi Arabia to discuss a potential move to Al Hilal, a leading club in the Saudi Pro League. The news comes amidst a significant transformation in Saudi Arabian football, with the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) acquiring stakes in several Pro League clubs and attracting top-tier talent from across the globe.
Lukaku, who was loaned out to Inter Milan last season, has been offered a two-year contract by Al Hilal, with a lucrative salary of €25 million per season. The Belgian striker, who failed to make a significant impact at Stamford Bridge in the 2021-22 season following his €115 million move, is reportedly open to the idea of not returning to Chelsea.
However, the deal is understood to be complex due to the finances involved. Al Hilal will have to negotiate with Chelsea, as Lukaku is still contracted with the Blues. Chelsea, looking to trim their squad, are willing to sell Lukaku but are expected to ask for more than €50 million for the striker.
The Saudi Arabian PIF’s vision is to bring the best players across the globe to Saudi Arabia. The Middle Eastern country has already seen success in this endeavor, with big names like Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema playing in the Saudi League. Chelsea’s N’Golo Kante is also expected to join Al Ittihad, another Saudi Arabian club.
Despite the enticing offer, Lukaku has expressed initial reluctance to move to Saudi Arabia. His preference is to play at the highest level, especially after the disappointment of losing the Champions League Final with Inter Milan. However, with the significant backing from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, Lukaku would immediately become Al Hilal’s biggest star if he agrees to the move.
The future of Lukaku at Chelsea remains uncertain, with new Chelsea head coach Mauricio Pochettino indicating he is willing to work with Lukaku. However, the striker seems set to pursue a move away from Stamford Bridge.