Lukaku’s £325,000-a-week wages at Chelsea see him earn around £17m a year, a salary out of reach for Roma and the Blues are unwilling to subsidise.
Chelsea also want Lukaku to agree to reduce his salary for the remainder of his contract, beyond any loan deal for the coming season and until 2026, with Roma only willing to pay £7m for the striker’s temporary move.
For the Blues to accept a lower loan fee, they want to make significant savings on Lukaku’s wages, who remains the highest-paid player at Stamford Bridge.
The final step is talks between all three parties to encourage the Belgium international to facilitate the move by reducing his earnings until 2026.
Speaking at a Belgian youth tournament on Saturday, Lukaku said: “I am nervous. Tomorrow I am flying to Rome.”
Inter Milan and Al-Hilal have withdrawn from the race, further reducing Chelsea’s options to offload their £100m signing from 2021.
Chelsea hoped to sell Lukaku this summer having set a £35m asking price but have had to consider loan bids with the transfer window closing on September 1.