Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku walks out onto the pitch to warm up prior to the UEFA EURO 2024 qualifying round group E match between Estonia and Belgium at A. Le Coq Arena on June 20, 2023
Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku is returning to Serie A.
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Sutton ‘baffled’ by Lukaku situation ahead of Chelsea transfer

BBC pundit Chris Sutton says it is “baffling” that Chelsea are offloading Romelu Lukaku yet again ahead of transfer deadline day. 

The Belgian striker flew to the Italian capital on Tuesday ahead of completing a season-long loan to AS Roma after permanent moves to Inter Milan and Juventus fell through. The Serie A outfit will pay an £8m loan fee and cover the player’s wages, with Lukaku expected to take a pay cut.

The 30-year-old centre-forward returned to Chelsea in 2021, signing a five-year contract after Inter Milan received a transfer fee of £97.5m. But he has struggled during his second spell in west London, scoring just eight Premier League goals in 2021/22.

Sutton is perplexed that Lukaku has been shunted by the Blues despite the fact that they are in need a of number nine to lead the line.

“When he is conditioned and fit he is a real handful,” the former Chelsea striker told BBC Radio 5 Live’s Monday Night Club.

“He has had a brilliant career but, at 30, he has to prove himself again.

“The Chelsea thing is baffling in some respects, that he seemed to be frozen out and Chelsea have a striker crisis, yet they weren’t bringing him back into the fold which was slightly odd.”

Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino commented on Lukaku’s pending transfer before Friday’s 3-0 win over Luton Town at Stamford Bridge.

“The situation hasn’t changed,” he said. “In football all can happen, we will see in the future but for now nothing has changed. The situation was clear when we arrived, a wish between the club and player to find a solution. At the moment, we are relaxed.”

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