Romelu Lukaku has two opportunities to make his second Chelsea debut this week.
football.london understands a fee of around £98million has been agreed between the Blues and Inter Milan for the forward, who has agreed a five-year contract to return to Stamford Bridge.
Having undergone a medical on Monday, all that remains is an official announcement that Lukaku is once again a Chelsea player, where he will become Thomas Tuchel’s second signing since being appointed head coach in January.
When that happens, the 28-year-old has a chance of featuring for the west London outfit against Villarreal in the UEFA Super Cup clash on Wednesday night.
This is because, as per UEFA regulations, Chelsea have until 11pm on Tuesday to make any amendments, such as including Lukaku, to their squad for the Super Cup, which will be played in Belfast.
For any reason the deal isn’t completed by the deadline, Lukaku will have to wait until Saturday to pull on the Blues shirt once again.
Chelsea welcome Crystal Palace to Stamford Bridge in their first game of the new Premier League season, but will have to register the striker before 12 noon on Friday (August 13) in order to have him available for selection.
That is as per Premier League regulations.
A statement reads: “Subject to the provisions of Rule V.1, the deadline for receipt by the Board of all duly completed documents required by these Rules to effect the registration of a Player shall be 12 noon on the last Working Day before the date of the first League Match in which the Club making the application intends him to play, save that the international transfer certificate and evidence of eligibility to take up employment in the United Kingdom (in both cases if applicable) may be provided thereafter (but must be provided before the Player is eligible to play for a Club in a League Match).”
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But as mentioned above, a deal bringing Lukaku back to west London is at an advanced stage, so it would be a major surprise if he’s not involved against the Eagles at the weekend.
Although, what squad number could he take at Stamford Bridge?
In the past four seasons, he has worn No.9 for club and country, but at Chelsea, the incumbent No.9 is Tammy Abraham, which could pose a problem to Lukaku.
However, that shirt number could soon become vacant as the striker has been tipped to leave this summer amid fresh links with a move to AS Roma.