AS Roma are considering a shock swap-deal which will see Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku exchanged with star defender Mehdi Benatia, Express reports.
Reports from Italy suggest that Benatia is Chelsea’s priority target this summer as the replacement for David Luiz, who completed a £50million move to Paris Saint-Germain.
And now Roma officials are using Benatia as leverage in their attempts to bring over Blues attacker Lukaku.
The Belgian had two successful loan spells away from Stamford Bridge, but has publically expressed his frustrations with Chelsea and manager Jose Mourinho.
“You know Chelsea: every year they buy a new top striker,” he said.
“I remember me coming into the dressing room last year and seeing Samuel Eto’o and Demba Ba and going: ‘Whoah! What’s happening here?’
“But no problem. Many clubs are interested in me.
“At this stage I have to look to myself. I have to play a good World Cup.
“That’s very interesting for all the players looking for a transfer, and I must be one of them. Chelsea know my point of view.”
Lukaku spent two seasons not playing in the UEFA Champions League, a novelty Roma can offer after finishing second in the Italian Serie-A last season.
The 21-year-old is also expected to lead the line for Belgium in this summer’s FIFA World Cup in Brazil.