The future of Romelu Lukaku is under close scrutiny as Chelsea is reported to want a fee of £43 million for the striker this summer. Roma, however, needs to qualify for the Champions League to afford him.
This afternoon at the Al Awwal Stadium in Riyadh, Roma will take the field for their friendly match against Al-Shabab, with Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku being a central figure. According to Italian sports newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport, Lukaku, who “said no last summer to the Saudis on the transfer market”, remains a darling of Arab teams but is also a bedrock for Roma this season.
The former Inter striker is currently on loan from Chelsea, and an agreement with the Blues stipulates no more loans. Any team wishing to acquire him will have to shell out £43 million – a figure needed to prevent recording a loss in the balance sheet. To gather this amount, Roma’s only viable path is to qualify for the Champions League.
The total cost of the operation, including expenditures and engagement, amounts to £80 million, spread over three seasons and amortised until 2027. However, clinching the fourth sport is crucial as it will mean an additional £40 million in the club’s coffers, plus more from sponsors and stadium revenue.