€45m striker wanted as Karim Benzema replacement – and Chelsea could be big winners

CaughtOffside have today reported on the growing whispers of interest from Saudi Arabian clubs in Romelu Lukaku.

The striker has just finished his latest loan, and once again Chelsea are back where they began, desperate to offload him and his giant wages somewhere – preferably permanently.

The article claims that sources have told them that Saudi club Al Ittihad are “favourites” to sign Lukaku, having made him a “priority target” and a potential replacement for the unhappy Karim Benzema.

Chelsea want a €45m transfer fee for the Belgian, who will shortly be playing at the Euros with Belgium. That’s probably too much for most of the Serie A teams being linked, but is certainly within the budgets of the PIF owned group of Saudi clubs.

Everyone is keen to predict a reunion with Jose Mourinho at Fenerbahce or with Antonio Conte at Napoli, but it’s hard to imagine those clubs being able to pay the fee and Lukaku’s wages.

Romelu Lukaku celebrates a goal for Roma.

A new reality on the ground in Saudi Arabia

It will be very interesting to see how things actually shake out in the Saudi Pro League this summer. Articles like the one cited above create the impression that it’s going to be much like last year, with tons of Premier League names and other stars from across Europe flooding in, saving all sorts of clubs like from major headaches financially.

But so far, that impression isn’t being translated to action on the ground. There is far less activity than a year ago, despite all the rumours.

Some players will still move, and some teams will get lucky in palming off their unwanted jumbo contracts, but it’s not something anyone should be relying on. Lukaku does appear to be the type of player who a club would still consider, but nobody should be under the illusion that this is going to be like last year.

Tags Romelu Lukaku

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  1. Benzema can be a good number 9 there..
    We also need someone at the center back(at our uncle Thiago silva)

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