Romelu Lukaku drops hint over his Chelsea future after Roma thrash Brighton


Romelu Lukaku of Roma is celebrating after scoring their second goal during the UEFA Europa League round of 16 first leg match between AS Roma and Brighton & Hove Albion at Stadio Olimpico in Rome, Italy, on March 7, 2024. 

Romelu Lukaku is loving life at Roma, but stopped short of saying he wanted to leave Chelsea permanently for the Italian club.

His comments came after Roma thrashed Brighton in the first-leg of their Europa League last 16 tie on Thursday evening.

Goals from Paulo Dybala, Lukaku, Gianluca Mancini and Bryan Cristante at the Stadio Olimpico appear to have all but ended the Seagulls’ European adventure.

The Belgium striker is on loan at Roma from Chelsea having failed to secure a permanent exit from Stamford Bridge last summer, after moves to Inter Milan and Juventus fell apart.
18 goals and four assists in 35 appearances across all competitions so far is a good return, especially in what has been a crazy season for the Serie A side who sacked Jose Mourinho in January.
But Lukaku is enjoying it all and is encouraged by new manager Daniele De Rossi’s style of play, telling Sky Sport Italia after the Brighton win: ‘The coach gives me more freedom in midfield and to push up.

‘I have to attack the space, whereas before I was asked to hold the ball up. It is the first time I am being used as the lone centre-forward in Italy, but I’m settling well and hope we can continue improving to go far in Serie A and the Europa League.

‘De Rossi talks about having new objectives every day and give your best to hit those targets. Every training session is a test and I like that, because I think great players do have to be stimulated.

‘He said we have the objective of getting into the top four in Serie A and also progressing in Europe, so we can never let our foot off the gas.

‘It was a different experience, but as soon as I arrived, I saw how much the fans love this team. I also called Radja Nainggolan and he helped prepare me for how I ought to behave.
‘Mourinho helped me and now De Rossi is too. I try to give my best for Roma, many people don’t know what my situation was, so I thank Roma.'

Lukaku returned to Chelsea in 2021 for a then club record £97million but he struggled to re-adjust to life in the Premier League.

Just months into his second spell with the Blues, he gave an interview with Sky Italia where he said he wished to return to Inter, sparking outrage among fans and effectively ending his future with the club – which is clearly the ‘controversy’ the striker was referring to.

Inter and Juventus were priced out of signing Lukaku last summer, but with his contract up in 2026, Chelsea will surely lower their price tag which could allow Roma to snap him up.

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