Romelu Lukaku’s agent Sebastien Ledure has blasted the Saudi Pro League, blaming the league for the chaos surrounding the Belgian striker’s transfer situation this summer.
Lukaku was involved in arguably the most exhausting transfer saga of the 2023 summer transfer window.
The 30-year-old had originally been expected to return to Inter for a third time this season, having spent the 2022-23 campaign on loan from Chelsea.
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However, the Nerazzurri suddenly stopped negotiations in July after being angered when Lukaku held talks with rivals Juventus behind their back.
As a result, Inter withdrew their transfer offer, leaving Juventus a free path to sign Lukaku.
Juve failed to agree a deal with Chelsea, though, and eventually Lukaku moved on loan to Roma in the closing days of the window.
While this was all happening, Al-Hilal and other Saudi Arabian teams were trying to sign Lukaku.
They were offering much more money and a permanent transfer deal, which meant Chelsea gave their offer priority.
But Lukaku was adamant that he wanted to stay in Europe.
Ledure says that this is why Lukaku’s future wasn’t resolved until late in the window.
What did Lukaku’s agent say?
“It was very difficult [for European clubs to buy Lukaku]. [It was] even impossible at the start of the transfer window to talk about a loan solution,” Ledure told RTL.
“The owners of Chelsea were looking for a definitive solution, a transaction, a permanent transfer. And the real change that happened this summer was the arrival of Saudi clubs on the international transfer market.
“The owners of Chelsea were looking for a definitive solution, a transaction, a permanent transfer. And the real change that happened this summer was the arrival of Saudi clubs on the international transfer market.”
Lukaku is set to return to Chelsea at the end of the season as his loan to Roma is a dry one.
He made his debut as a substitute last week in a 2-1 defeat to Milan.