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SportsLukaku ready for Saudi move a year after Al Hilal snub -...


Lukaku ready for Saudi move a year after Al Hilal snub – Sources


Romelu Lukaku has expressed openness to playing in Saudi Arabia, a year after rejecting a move to Al Hilal.

The 31-year-old striker’s future remains uncertain, as sources informed ESPN that Chelsea aims to secure a permanent transfer for Lukaku after loaning him to Inter Milan and Roma over the past two seasons.

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Lukaku, who earns approximately £325,000 a week ($415,419) at Stamford Bridge, is a significant financial burden for Chelsea, who are eager to offload his salary to fund new signings.

With two years left on his Chelsea contract, the club is reluctant to approve another loan move, seeking instead to recoup part of the £97.5 million they paid Inter Milan in 2021.

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Last summer, Chelsea accepted an offer for Lukaku to join Al Hilal, but the striker turned it down. Now, Lukaku views the Saudi Pro League more favourably, especially with the influx of high-profile players like Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar, and Karim Benzema.

Asked why he hesitated last summer, Lukaku told HLN: “Because everyone only went to Saudi Arabia after I could sign there, I was scared for a while.

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“[Now] Saudi Arabia would not stop me. The level there will only rise to a much higher level than many people think. More and more footballers will tend to play there.

“Also because of how the fans there experience football. The infrastructure still needs to improve, but all the big top European clubs know: ‘Saudi Arabia is coming.’ You already see that in boxing, golf, and Formula 1.”

Speaking about the possibility of a move this summer, Lukaku continued: “A lot of people like to talk, maybe because I don’t have an agent. But I’m going to decide. I control my situation myself.

“I am going to make a choice and once I will explain it, everyone is going to agree with me. Look, every time I decided to stay or leave somewhere, it turned out to be the right choice because of certain factors—for example, my rapport with the coach,” Lukaku said. “It’s like a relationship with a woman. If it doesn’t click anymore, why stay together?”

Lukaku also reiterated that he would like to end his career back in Belgium with Anderlecht, the club where he turned professional in 2006.

“It will happen,” he said. “And much earlier than many people think. I left Belgium when I was 18.”

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