Say it a dozen times, and you still haven't said it enough: Romelu Lukaku has been a godsend for the Giallorossi. The Roma striker, acquired on a dry loan from Chelsea in August, has hit the ground running in the Italian capital. In 1,136 minutes in all competitions, the 30-year-old Belgian striker has found the back of the net nine times—that 0.71 goals per 90 minutes clip is likely unsustainable, but Lukaku has delivered the best striker play Roma has seen since Edin Dzeko's capocannoniere season in 2017.
When it comes to this particular relationship, it's been all smiles. However, there is one tiny problem—Roma doesn't have an option to buy Lukaku outright after his loan expires on June 30, 2024. Last month, we discussed the possibility of Roma and Chelsea simply swapping strikers, with Tammy Abraham returning to Chelsea in exchange (or at least as a counterweight) for Lukaku.
With a rumored €40 million price tag, Roma General Manager Tiago Pinto will likely do whatever it takes to knock that price down. Still, Il Tempo provided some good news for Pinto and the rest of the Giallorossi brass. According to the Roman paper, Lukaku wants to return to Roma next season and beyond, potentially giving the Giallorossi a leg-up in negotiations.
While the two clubs have a productive working relationship, Chelsea likely won't give Roma a friends and family discount, and if Lukaku's resurgence carries into the spring, the Blues may very well want more than €40 million for Lukaku. Nevertheless, given the history between the two clubs and Lukaku's desire to remain in Rome, optimism abounds, even with José Mourinho's uncertain future on the bench.
Expect plenty of updates to this story as we wind our way through the season—stay tuned.