Potter Hints at Lukaku’s Future at Chelsea: Possible Extension of Contract for 2023-24 Season
The Belgian international returned to Chelsea for a second stint in 2021, joining from Inter Milan for £97.5 million.
During the 2021-22 season, Lukaku scored 15 goals and assisted on two others in 44 appearances for the Blues.
However, the forward had a strained relationship with former Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel following an interview with Italian television in which he stated that he was struggling in the German system.
Lukaku was later loaned back to Inter Milan before Tuchel was fired and replaced by Potter in September.
Injuries have hampered Lukaku’s return to Inter, and as a result, he has struggled to find his best form, registering five goals and one assist in 19 competitive appearances.
Lukaku is expected to leave Stamford Bridge once more when his loan deal expires in the summer, with the 29-year-old keen to stay in Serie A.
When asked if he wanted to work with Lukaku again next term, Potter appeared to leave the door open for a possible return.
Potter told reporters ahead of Saturday’s Premier League match against Aston Villa: “He is currently on loan at another club, and it is critical that he completes that, finishes the season well, and then we will make a decision in the summer.
“He is someone I greatly admire and admire. But, once again, this is something we will have to discuss during the summer.”
Chelsea are expected to sanction several departures in the summer to reduce their first-team squad size and help comply with financial fair play rules.
Potter said of potential summer departures: “No matter what competitions we are in, the squad size is not optimal. I believe it is a normal part of club life that different things happen at the end of the season and people move on. It could be because the player requires more game time or because there is a sale.
“In an ideal world (they’d go to another league) but it is never an ideal world and you have to deal with what you have to deal with.
“In the summer you make the decisions, do your business like everybody else does and accept you have to do what’s right for this football club and not worry too much about anyone else, just focus on what we need to do.”
Chelsea are currently in 10th place ahead of the weekend’s games, with four points separating them from the top six.