A summer exit has always looked likely for Lukaku, who was linked with a return to Inter Milan earlier in the summer as well as a potential switch to Juventus.
However, the 30-year-old is now on the verge of completing his move to join Jose Mourinho’s Roma side. Lukaku previously played under Mourinho at Manchester United, after arriving at Old Trafford for £75million in the summer of 2017.
The Belgian could undergo medical at Roma and sign his contract on Tuesday, though that may be pushed back due to issues with the UK’s air traffic control systems forcing delays to flights.
Lukaku is set to take a pay cut of more than 50% to secure the move to Roma, with the striker aware his £325,000-a-week wages would have proved problematic.
Chelsea had initially hoped to find a permanent buyer for Lukaku, who remains the club’s highest-paid player. However, with the transfer window closing this week, they have turned to a loan deal instead.
Lukaku has been training away from the Chelsea first-team, and Mauricio Pochettino last week confirmed a “solution” was being worked on.
“The club and the player, both try to find a solution,” the Chelsea boss said.
“The future can change things. Life can change. I saw [Jurgen] Klopp say I’m not going to be in this business when we should pay £100million, and then they offered £100million and he said, ‘Oh, I made a mistake’.
“That is the same situation. In football, the dynamic is fast and changes and we need to move on. Today, nothing has changed. If something changes we will adapt to the situation.”