Chelsea secure £80m FFP escape route to save club

Smart Escape Route: Chelsea secure £80m FFP escape route to save club

Darren Bent believes Chelsea should give Romelu Lukaku a second chance, rather than fork out millions on a new striker. The 30-year-old has faced an uncertain future at Stamford Bridge for a while now after revealing that he regretted leaving Inter Milan to join the Blues.

In an explosive interview with Sky Sports, just months after joining Chelsea for a then-record transfer fee, Lukaku controversially pledged his allegiance to the Nerazzurri – which didn’t go down well with Blues fans. After burning his bridges in west London, he joined Inter on loan.

Chelsea struggled to flog the Belgium international on a permanent basis upon his return to Cobham in the summer. Then, in July, the Inter sporting director confirmed the club’s intent to sign Lukaku.

The Italian giants eventually pulled out of the race to secure the Belgian’s signature after learning that he was also entertaining talks with Juventus. Despite previously pouring out his heart to Inter, Lukaku turned his back on the club and joined Roma on loan in the summer instead.

The striker, who still sees his contract at Stamford Bridge expire in 2026, has featured 26 times in the Serie A this term, scoring just 10 goals and providing three assists. While Lukaku enjoyed a bright start to the campaign, he’s struggled to impress in the new year.

In spite of question marks over his future at Chelsea, Bent believes that Mauricio Pochettino should forgive the Belgian. Speaking on talkSPORT, the former Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa striker insisted Lukaku could save the Blues millions this summer and, thus, ease any pressure on financial fair play concerns.

“If you can get him back on a free, for me, it’s a no-brainer,” said Bent. “But then he’s not at my football club. It’s a free, you haven’t got to buy him. For me, it’s a no-brainer, but I get it.

“Chelsea fans are probably looking back to the interview he did and how disrespectful he was to the club, and some of them just can’t let it go and I get that.

“I can see that side of the argument, but if you’re looking at buying a centre-forward for 80, 90 million and you’ve got one there on a free… and listen, the conversation has to come with him and Poch.

“If somehow they can fix that relationship and then save that £80, £90 million on a position they might need, it’s not the worst decision in the world.”

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