Did Romelu Lukaku BLOCK major Chelsea transfer for Manchester City star?

Romelu Lukaku of Roma looks on during the Italian Serie A match between Roma V Milan At Stadio Olimpico On September 01, 2023 In Rome, Italy.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Romelu Lukaku seemingly prevented Chelsea from signing Jeremy Doku years before his move to Manchester City.

City signed Doku from Anderlecht for £55.5m from Rennes this summer, but the Belgian starlet was on Chelsea's radar while still a 15-year-old youth player at Anderlecht.

Lukaku himself joined the Blues from Anderlecht in 2011 but failed to establish himself in the first team during his first spell at Stamford Bridge.

eremy Doku of Manchester City during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Fulham FC at Etihad Stadium on September 02, 2023 in Manchester, England.

Jeremy Doku (Image credit: Getty Images)

And the striker's own experience informed the advice he gave to Doku as his future international teammate weighed up a switch to Chelsea. In an interview with the Sunday Mirror, Anderlecht academy director Jean Kindermans explained:

"I remember taking Romelu into my office about the problem of getting young players to commit to us – Doku in particular.

"Romelu replied, ‘Come on, pass your phone to me; I’m going to call him’."

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Kindermans wasn't too sure about Lukaku's suggestion, though. He continued:

"But I didn’t want to do that because a phone call gets quickly forgotten. So, instead, I got Romelu to convince Jeremy to stay.

"I still have the video on my phone. On it, you can hear Romelu giving advice to the Doku family, saying, ‘Hey, guys, stay with Anderlecht for a while; you’re good’ and so on."

Romelu Lukaku of AS Roma gestures during the Serie A football match between AS Roma and AC Milan at Olimpico stadium in Rome (Italy), September 1st, 2023.

Lukaku is on loan at Roma from Chelsea this season (Image credit: Getty Images)

Lukaku's advice appears to have paid off, with Doku making his City debut from the start in their second game following his arrival late last month.

The 21-year-old, who has won 14 caps for Belgium, signed a five-year deal with Pep Guardiola's Premier League champions.

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Amid his public spat with Erik ten Hag, Jadon Sancho might have been handed an exit route from Manchester United.

Meanwhile, Kevin De Bruyne and Robert Lewandowski are said to have rejected summer moves to Saudi Arabia.

But Saudi Pro League champions Al Ittihad look likely to continue their pursuit of Mo Salah.

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Tom Hancock started freelancing for FourFourTwo in April 2019 and has also written for The Analyst and When Saturday Comes, among others. He supports Wycombe Wanderers and has a soft spot for Wealdstone. A self-confessed statto, he has been known to watch football with a spreadsheet (or several) open...