Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku is set to seal a return to Serie A with Roma after the Italian side reportedly agreed terms over a season-long loan deal.
According to several UK reports, Roma will pay Chelsea £8 million to take the wantaway striker for the remainder of the 2023/24 season while covering Lukaku's wages.
The deal is expected to be completed well before Friday's European transfer deadline and sees Roma beat off domestic rivals Inter Milan and Juventus to the 30-year-old centre-forward's signature.
Inter had been hopeful of luring Lukaku back to San Siro for a third spell after he spent the 2022/23 campaign on loan. But Lukaku's relationship with coach Simone Inzaghi soured after the Italian left him out of his starting lineup for last season's Champions League final defeat to Manchester City.
Lukaku enjoyed a successful two-year stint at Inter after signing from Manchester United in 2019, helping the Nerazzurri win Serie A in 2021.
Juventus were also keen to sign Lukaku but were unable to make the changes required to their squad.
The uncertainty surrounding Lukaku, who joined Chelsea for £97.5 million in 2021 but scored only eight Premier League goals in 26 games before being loaned out to Inter Milan last season, has hung over the early weeks of Mauricio Pochettino’s time in charge at Stamford Bridge.
The manager hinted last week that he would be willing to consider reintegrating the Belgium international into his squad if no deal for him to leave could be reached before Friday’s transfer deadline.
But that impasse looks to have been averted after a deal was struck with Roma for the 30-year-old, who spent three years on Chelsea’s books between 2011-14 but made just 10 appearances between loan spells at West Bromwich Albion and Everton, to join up with ex-Blues boss Jose Mourinho in the Italian capital.
It will be the second time Mourinho has signed Lukaku having previously signed him while in charge at Manchester United.
Lukaku is yet to register an appearance at Chelsea this season after the London club signed Nicolas Jackson from Villarreal over the summer.