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Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku agrees to join Roma on season-long loan

Romelu Lukaku
Lukaku scored 15 goals in 44 appearances for Chelsea during 2021-22, although he started just 29 of those games

Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku has agreed to join Italian side Roma on a season-long loan deal from Chelsea.

The 30-year-old returns to Serie A having spent last season on loan with Inter Milan, helping them reach the Champions League final.

He is reported to have turned down a lucrative move to the Saudi Pro League.

"The welcome that this club and these fans gave me thrilled me and represents a further incentive to give everything for my new team," Lukaku said.

Lukaku is believed to have accepted a wage cut to be reunited with coach Jose Mourinho at Roma.

Mourinho briefly managed Lukaku in 2013-14, during the striker's first spell at Chelsea, before the Portuguese signed him for Manchester United from Everton in 2017 for £75m.

Lukaku added: "I had the opportunity to speak with the owners in recent days and I was struck by their ambition.

"Now we have to work, be humble and grow game after game. For my part, I can't wait to make myself available to my teammates, on and off the field."

After making a £74m permanent move to Inter from United in 2019, Lukaku re-joined Chelsea for £97.5m in 2021 but his return proved unsuccessful and he has not played for the Blues since May 2022.

Lukaku did not travel with Chelsea for their pre-season tour of the United States and despite still having three years left on his contract, he was not part of new manager Mauricio Pochettino's plans for 2023-24.

"Knowing that Lukaku has chosen Roma can only represent a source of great satisfaction for all of us. With his arrival we acquire further experience, professionalism and desire to win", Roma's general manager of the sports area Tiago Pinto.

"All our choices are always aimed at raising Roma's level of competitiveness. Seeing the fans welcome Romelu with that enthusiasm makes us really proud."

Lukaku has previously won the Belgian championship with Anderlecht, an FA Cup and a Club World Cup with Chelsea, and a Scudetto, an Italian Cup and an Italian Super Cup with Inter.

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