• Premier League

Fulham linked with Lukaku move

ESPN staff
July 18, 2012
Things have not gone how Romelu Lukaku would have wanted since he arrived at Chelsea in the summer of 2011 © Getty Images

Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku is being strongly linked with a loan move to the European Champions' West London neighbours Fulham.

Reports suggest that Martin Jol is extremely keen on bringing the Belgian forward to Craven Cottage and that an agreement on a season-long is close to being finalised.

Lukaku, who arrived from Anderlecht last summer in a big-money transfer, has been unable to hide his frustrations at the lack of playing time he has been handed at Stamford Bridge in his first season in the Premier League. He has also discussed a potential loan move as a solution in the past.

Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo, currently in the US on the club's pre-season tour, stated that a final decision on which players will remain at the club for the 2012-2013 campaign will be made by the end of the first week of August. However, confirmation of Lukaku's whereabouts for next season could come before then.

"Pre-season gives me a great opportunity to see these players in training and competitive games. The final decision [about] who will go out on loan and who will stay will be made at the beginning of August, the first week maybe," said Di Matteo.

"We can only name 25 in the squad so we will have to get the balance right in the team for the forthcoming season and make decisions then."

Stoke have also been linked with a loan move for Lukaku, but Fulham are believed to be the strong favourites as the 19-year-old is keen to remain in London.

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