AS Roma boss Jose Mourinho could reportedly push for a crazy swap deal involving Tammy Abraham and Romelu Lukaku in the summer of 2024.
According to Italian outlet Calciomercatoweb, Chelsea could use in-form Romelu Lukaku as a “bargaining chip” in a deal to resign Tammy Abraham as the Blues look to solve their striker issues.
The Blues have made a stuttering start to their new Premier League campaign, currently languishing in the 14th spot after their latest defeat to Aston Villa over the weekend, having bagged just five goals from as many league games this term. And that is despite spending huge sums on new players over the past 18 months.
It would not be unfair to say head coach Mauricio Pochettino is craving for a proven goal-scorer to lead his line. Summer signing Christopher Nkunku is out injured, while Nicolas Jackson has been shown more yellow cards than he has scored goals in the Premier League since joining Chelsea from Villarreal in the summer, having scored only once against newcomers Luton Town.
And bringing back former striker Tammy Abraham is seen as a cost-effective option the club are exploring to sort out their No. 9 problems.
Abraham was a relative hit with fans but was sold during the Thomas Tuchel regime in favour of resigning former star Romelu Lukaku from Inter Milan.
The Englishman did well in his debut season with the Giallorossi following his €40 million move from Chelsea in August 2021, scoring 27 goals in 53 games across all competitions en route to lifting the Europa Conference League trophy.
Unfortunately for the Englishman, he failed to maintain this form in the Italian capital and has started to fall out of favour with coach Jose Mourinho. He is currently sidelined with a cruciate ligament injury and isn’t expected to be back in action until next year.
As for Lukaku, he took Abraham’s No. 9 shirt but lasted just a year back at Stamford Bridge before being shipped back to Inter Milan on loan.
After an intriguing transfer saga that saw Lukaku face intense criticism after he tried to push a move to Juventus behind Inter’s backs, the Chelsea striker now finds himself on loan at Roma this season.
And the reunion with Mourinho has gotten off to a fine start, as he followed up an incredible debut in a 7-0 drubbing of Empoli by hitting the winner in a 2-1 Europa League victory over Sheriff Tiraspol in midweek. If he continues his form, Roma will certainly consider potentially signing the 30-year-old permanently once his loan expires.
When Chelsea sold Abraham to the Rome outfit back in 2021, they included a €70 million buyback clause, but the Blues are considering bringing the price of the deal down by offering Lukaku in return.
For Roma, the idea is intriguing, given they were open to selling Abraham last summer prior to his injury and already have a backup striker in Andrea Belotti. With both Lukaku and Abraham understood to be holding more or less the same €35–40 million valuation, a straight swap could be on the cards as they look to come to a convincing solution for all parties involved.
The report adds that Chelsea “will knock on Roma’s door as early as January,” but a summer swoop would be much more likely next summer.