According to recent statements from Romelu Lukaku, the Saudi Pro League may be getting its newest celebrity player in a transfer. The Belgian striker’s future at Roma’s Stadio Olimpico is uncertain, according to reports, as Chelsea are hoping to cash in on his sale.

During Wednesday’s friendly match in Riyadh, Roma defeated Al-Shabab 2-1 thanks to goals from Romelu Lukaku and youthful sensation Joao Costa. After the game, the Belgian striker spoke highly of the Saudi Pro League.

“In the next two years, I see this league becoming one of the best in the world, if not the best,” he told Riyadiya TV. “The clubs make a lot of efforts to bring the ‘big’ players here. As a result, the teams and the footballing qualities are improving significantly.”

After being provocatively questioned whether Saudi fans would ever see Lukaku play in the Middle East again, the Belgian player said, “Absolutely.”

Saudi dream transfer is not over for Lukaku

Lukaku made the unexpected claim after turning down potential transfers to Saudi Arabia last summer. Last year, Saudi clubs embarked on a statewide recruiting campaign. They brought in superstars like Sadio Mane, Riyad Mahrez, Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar, and Karim Benzema.

There have been some unfortunate developments in recent weeks that have put the Saudi top division in the spotlight. After moving to the Middle East, some former European superstars were disillusioned with the league, according to reports. It all started when Jordan Henderson, a former midfielder for Liverpool, abruptly left Al-Ettifaq for Ajax.

Since then, rumors began to circulate that the league is not as attractive as it had seemed when players from Europe were fleeing in August 2023. It would seem like Lukaku is one of the few who is willing to go to the Middle East.

Chelsea sets a price tag

Chelsea have decided how much they want to get go of Romelu Lukaku for good this summer. In 2021, the Blues spent a club-record $124 million to acquire the star from Inter. However, he had a terrible season and made headlines when he publicly criticized manager Thomas Tuchel.

He spent last season on loan back to Inter and is now on a season-long loan to Roma. However, Chelsea will be trying to offload him during the next transfer window.

They are willing to lose almost $76 million on the 30-year-old, as reported by the Italian site Calciomercato. They further add that the Premier League side would seek just around $47 million to get him off their books.

After returning to Italy, Lukaku made an immediate impact with Roma this year. The forward’s deal with Chelsea, which ends in 2026 is worth over $12.7 million per year. Thus, it might provide a payroll problem for the Italian club.

With Jose Mourinho out of the picture, Roma’s decision on whether or not to satisfy such a demand is murky at best. Last year, it was the Portuguese who played a key role in finalizing a deal for the Belgium international. Because of this, relocating to Saudi Arabia may become a reality by the end of the year.