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'It will happen much sooner than people think' - Romelu Lukaku drops hint over next club

'It will happen much sooner than people think' - Lukaku drops hint over next club
© Reuters
Romelu Lukaku suggests that a return to Belgian Pro League club Anderlecht, where he began his career, will occur "much sooner than people think."

Romelu Lukaku has suggested that a return to Belgian Pro League club Anderlecht, where he began his career, will occur "much sooner than people think."

Despite signing a five-year contract with Chelsea in a high-profile £97.5m move back in 2021, Lukaku fell out of favour under former Blues manager Thomas Tuchel and was sent on back-to-back loans to Inter Milan and Roma in the last two campaigns.

With two years left on his lucrative £325,000-per-week deal at Stamford Bridge, the Belgian international reminded onlookers of his ability during his last season in Serie A, where he scored 21 goals in 47 appearances.

His stint at Roma was overseen by Jose Mourinho, who facilitated the loan deal before departing from Stadio Olimpico.

Roma coach Jose Mourinho talks to his players during a break in play on September 1, 2023© Reuters

Romelu Lukaku linked with return to boyhood club

Lukaku began his professional football career at Anderlecht in his home country of Belgium, and now, a return to his roots appears to be on the horizon.

Speaking to RTL Sports, Lukaku stated, "Of course. That [a return to Anderlecht] will happen. That will happen, I think, much sooner than people think."

The interviewer asked back: "Much sooner?" Lukaku responded: "Yes. I left Belgium at 18 years old."

The Belgian international joined Anderlecht in 2006 at the age of 13 and spent three years in their youth ranks before he made his senior debut in 2009.

Lukaku went on to accumulate 41 goals and 17 assists in 98 appearances for the Belgian Pro League side before the Blues bought him for the first time back in 2011.

When Lukaku joined Roma last summer, Chelsea included an exit clause in his contract, allowing him to leave West London for an amount of around £38m.

Inter Milan's Romelu Lukaku celebrates scoring their second goal with coach Antonio Conte against AC Milan on September 21, 2019© Reuters

Napoli keeping tabs on Lukaku ahead of summer transfer window

In recent weeks, the 31-year-old striker has also been linked with a possible move to Napoli, who are now under the guidance of Antonio Conte.

Conte and Lukaku previously worked together at Inter, where the striker's goals played a crucial role in securing the Serie A title.

Additionally, Napoli are likely to look to bring in attacking reinforcements in the offseason, with Victor Osimhen being heavily linked with a summer move away from Naples.

It is also understood that Lukaku is being monitored by sides from the Saudi Pro League, with Al-Ahli reportedly signalling their interest in bringing the striker to the Middle East next season.

Chelsea, meanwhile, are looking to sign a striker to complement Nicolas Jackson and have been strongly linked with a move for RB Leipzig's Benjamin Sesko, who has a release clause of £55m.

Nevertheless, any potential deal for Lukaku is unlikely to be completed in the immediate future, as the player is currently preparing for Euro 2024 with Belgium.

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New signing Romelu Lukaku is introduced to the Roma fans before the match on September 1, 2023
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Group A

Q Germany Germany32107
Q Switzerland Switzerland31205
3 Hungary Hungary31023
4 Scotland flag Scotland30121

Group B

Q Spain Spain33009
Q Italy Italy31114
3 Croatia Croatia30212
4 Albania national flag Albania30121

Group C

Q England flag England31205
Q Denmark Denmark30303
Q Slovenia Slovenia30303
4 Serbia Serbia30212

Group D

Q Austria Austria32016
Q France France31205
Q Netherlands Netherlands31114
4 Poland Poland30121

Group E

Q Romania Romania31114
Q Belgium Belgium31114
Q Slovakia Slovakia31114
4 Ukraine Ukraine31114

Group F

Q Portugal Portugal32016
Q Turkey Turkey32016
Q Georgia Georgia31114
4 Czech Republic Czech Republic30121

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