Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku is expected to receive a two-year, £43 million contract offer from Saudi Pro League club Al-Hilal this summer. If approved, the move would make Lukaku the most well-known player to have joined the Saudi Pro League since Cristiano Ronaldo. Lukaku’s loan stint at Inter Milan will end, and the striker is expected to return to Chelsea despite his desire to remain at Inter.
The striker, who cost £98 million to go to West London in August 2021, left Stamford Bridge under controversial circumstances last summer after telling Italian media he wanted to leave no later than six months after his arrival. Lukaku met with Al-Hilal representatives to explore the proposal on Monday in Saudi Arabia, but it’s thought he’ll only leave European football for a more expensive deal.
Chelsea are willing to let Lukaku go but will seek a fee for his departure of at least £43 million, which is less than half of what they paid for him two seasons ago. The source adds that Al-Hilal will bargain with Chelsea chairman Todd Boehy to reduce the asking price because they are hesitant to pay the Blues’ demand.
Following a terrible campaign in which they ended 12th in the Premier League and missed out on qualifying for Europe, the Stamford Bridge management is prepared to restructure their team ahead of the coming season. Ronaldo paved the way for other European athletes to play in the Saudi Pro League by signing a lucrative contract for £173 million annually with Al-Nassr in January.
N’Golo Kante of Chelsea is about to agree to terms identical to those of Karim Benzema, who ended his 14-year career at Real Madrid to accept an £86 million contract with Saudi champions Al-Ittihad. Sadio Mane who has become an out-of-favour player at Bayern Munich, is among the other players on the radar of Saudi clubs.
It remains to be seen whether Lukaku will accept Al-Hilal’s offer or wait for a more expensive deal. Nevertheless, his potential departure to the Saudi Pro League would certainly make headlines across the football world.