A US-educated banker, Citu, 48, must be formally nominated by President Klaus Iohannis, who has already said he won't stand in the way of the proposal. Iohannis will hold a second round of consultations with the parliamentary parties on Tuesday before making his announcement.
"We will have stable, long-term governance, focused on the citizen's interests," said Citu.
Besides overseeing a new budget, his government will have to organize the COVID-19 vaccination campaign and work on reforms to revitalize an economy badly hit by the pandemic.
The European Union on Monday gave the green light for inoculations with the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine to begin in all 27 member nations after Christmas.
Romania's general elections have resulted in a fragmented parliament, with the liberals, seen as favorites, coming in second with 25 percent, compared with 29 percent for the left-wing Social Democratic Party (PSD).
But Iohannis snubbed the PSD and had made clear his preference for a PNL-led government, with the three center-right parties in parliament totaling 244 MPs, above the 233 threshold for a majority in the 465-seat legislature.
Interim Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca took office on December 7 following Ludovic Orban's resignation when the PNL party secured just 25 percent of the vote in the election.