Belgian national team coach Roberto Martinez is hopeful that he can perhaps call upon Romelu Lukaku in the latter part of the upcoming international break.
Inter players have been explicitly banned from travelling for national team duty due to a number of COVID-19 cases at the club but despite this, Martinez has still included the former Manchester United forward in his 32-man squad.
Belgium are due to play Wales on March 24, Czech Republic on March 27 and Belarus on March 30 in their 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.
“Now we have to evaluate day by day, I don’t think we can decide now not to call him since the third match is still far away,” Martinez explained at his squad announcement press conference today.
“Lukaku could still join us, it will all depend on Monday’s tests.
“If all Inter players are negative, there is a possibility that Lukaku can play with Belgium.
“It remains to be seen whether the government and local authorities will give the green light.”
While obviously wanting to have Lukaku, who is the national team’s record all-time top goal scorer, Martinez did insist that health of the player is the most important thing at this moment in time.
“The important thing right now is Romelu’s health.”
Martinez’s optimism appears to be misguided, because as per Gazzetta dello Sport today there is no chance of Inter players travelling anywhere before March 31.
Lukaku has made 34 appearances across all competitions this season for Inter, in which he has scored 25 goals and provided a total of eight assists for his teammates.