Romelu Lukaku flew from Milan to his agent’s headquarters in Monaco on Monday to finalise the last details of his imminent move to Chelsea.
The Inter striker, who is set to return to Stamford Bridge for £97.5m, underwent the majority of his medical in Milan on Monday and was then spotted getting on a plane, with most assuming he was heading directly to London to seal the deal.
There had even been speculation that Chelsea would confirm Lukaku’s return late on Monday, but obviously that didn’t happen, and according to Gianluca Di Marzio, that’s because the 28-year-old was not even flying to England.
Instead, Lukaku spent the night at his agent’s headquarters in Monte Carlo, where he is understood to have put the finishing touches on all the paperwork to allow him to jet off to England in the near future.
The Blues want Lukaku confirmed by 11pm on Tuesday evening, which would make him eligible to feature in Wednesday’s Super Cup against Villarreal, but the clock is ticking down.
Chelsea had hoped Lukaku would be in England on Sunday, but saw Inter delay his medical while they searched for a replacement for the Belgian, and now this surprise trip to Monaco has pushed things back even further.
The Telegraph note that it is ‘highly unlikely’ that Lukaku will be involved in Wednesday’s game, but manager Thomas Tuchel will still request that the striker attends the game to meet his team-mates as soon as possible.
Lukaku’s arrival is expected to pave the way for a departure for Tammy Abraham, who has been the subject of a successful bid from Roma.
Jose Mourinho’s side have agreed to pay £4.2m up front with a further £30m-£35m in instalments, although it is not yet clear whether the deal would be your average permanent transfer or a loan with an obligation to buy.
Chelsea would prefer to send Abraham overseas, where Atalanta are also known admirers, but the striker would favour a move to Arsenal.