Could Romelu Lukaku Be Even Cheaper Than Expected?

The initial fee Chelsea agreed to with RSC Anderlecht for the transfer of 18-year-old striker Romelu Lukaku turns out to be lower than the £13M plus add-ons that the Belgian club were apparently demanding, in news that can only be considered good for the Blues. Belgian newspaper Nieuwsblad are reporting that the club only paid €12M (£10.4M) for Lukaku, with a further €8M possible depending on appearance clauses. I have no idea how credible this source is, but hey it's interesting:

RSCA heeft altijd gezegd dat het zeker 15 miljoen wou opstrijken voor zijn supertalent, maar de deal die uit de bus is gekomen is net iets ingewikkelder. Volgens onze bronnen betaalt Chelsea meteen 12 miljoen euro voor Lukaku, maar dat bedrag kan de volgende jaren oplopen tot 20 miljoen door een systeem van incentives.

-Source: Nieuwsblad.

To the translate machine!

RSCA has always said it wanted to ensure €15M in selling Lukaku, but the deal has ended up slightly more complicated. According to our sources, Chelsea paid €12M up front for Lukaku, but that amount can reach 20M next year through a series of incentives.

I'm not sure how much I trust that, since other sources say that Anderlecht 'always wanted' significantly more money, but it's the first word we've gotten about the transfer fee since Friday, so it's something to bear in mind. Also, from that same article...

Romelu Lukaku (18) heeft tegen KV Mechelen zijn laatste match gespeeld voor Anderlecht. Gisteren raakte zijn droomtransfer naar Chelsea immers rond. Lukaku tekent er een contract voor 5 seizoenen en wordt niet uitgeleend.

...

Romelu Lukaku, 18, played his last match for Anderlecht his last match against KV Mechelen. Yesterday, he got his dream transfer to Chelsea. Lukaku has signed a contract for five seasons and can not be be sent on loan.

If true (and last we heard, he was still negotiating personal terms and isn't actually signed yet, information that's sure to be woefully out of date), wow. A five year deal would be no surprise considering his age, but a no-loan clause in an 18-year-old's contract is a big deal. Fortunately he's not taking up a 'real' roster spot, but if such a clause exists Chelsea are going to have to work very hard to get him some playing time.

There's plenty of speculation to be had about just what this means for Didier Drogba, whose contract is up after the year. If Lukaku really can't be loaned out, Chelsea will be faced with an interesting dilemma. Playing time is always the best way to ensure a young footballer develops properly, and without something happening to Chelsea's centre forward situation, Lukaku might not get enough.

Hrm.

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