Chelsea 'have verbal agreement' with star who can get Pochettino's rebuild rolling

Chelsea and Romelu Lukaku reportedly have a ‘verbal agreement’ to sell the striker for £38m (Image: Getty)

Chelsea reportedly have a verbal agreement with Romelu Lukaku to sell the forgotten striker for £38million. Lukaku does not feature in Mauricio Pochettino’s plans for next season despite a positive loan spell at Roma.

The experienced Belgian scored 21 times across all competitions for the Italian side. But as one of the club’s most valuable of their outcast players, Lukaku is likely to be sold in the summer as Chelsea look to adhere to the Premier League’s profit and sustainability issues.

Chelsea paid a then-club record £97.5m to re-sign Lukaku in 2021. However, the move has failed to work out, with the 31-year-old scoring just eight goals in 26 appearances during his only campaign at Stamford Bridge since that move.

He has subsequently spent periods on loan at Inter Milan and Roma. The former Manchester United forward was excluded from Chelsea’s pre-season squad while he sought a departure, pointing towards Pochettino’s unwillingness to reintegrate him into his young first-team squad.

A major Chelsea sale will help Mauricio Pochetttino rebuild his squad this summer (Image: Getty)

But Lukaku could inadvertently prove important for Pochettino this summer. A £38m transfer sum – which journalist Ben Jacobs claims is the verbally-agreed fee for which Lukaku will leave this summer – could be reinvested back into the transfer budget to make improvements to the Argentine’s squad. Despite spending over £1billion since the BlueCo consortium bought the club in 2022, Chelsea could be in for another busy summer.

Lukaku is widely reported to have interest from Saudi Arabia, where the Blues sold several players to last summer. But the Belgium vice-captain has not indicated a willingness to play in the Saudi Pro League.

Asked about his future after shining in an international friendly against England in March, Lukaku bluntly told Sky Sports: “I don’t know. You’ll have to ask Chelsea what they want to do.”

Chelsea’s only recognised senior centre-forward, Nicolas Jackson, struggled for consistency during his first season in the Premier League last season. Jackson, the 22-year-old who was signed from Villarreal in a £30m deal, still scored 14 times.

Some Blues fans might have wished they had the experience of Lukaku to guide Jackson through a tough debut campaign. But Chelsea are set to look elsewhere for a new No 9 this summer with Pochettino seemingly not keen on Lukaku.

The West Londoners have been linked with Napoli forward Victor Osimhen. However, the Nigerian will not come cheap and has interest from other top European clubs.

Source: https://www.express.co.uk/sport/football/1901529/Chelsea-transfers-Mauricio-Pochettino