Premier League • England

Lukaku reaction to Chelsea controversy emerges as report reveals he ignored advice

Romelu Lukaku, Chelsea v Brighton December 2021

Romelu Lukaku did not intend to cause any ill feeling at Chelsea with his recent comments about the club and a return to Inter, according to a report.

The Blues have hit a rocky patch in recent weeks because of injuries and coronavirus cases in the squad. As a result, they have picked up only four wins from 11 in all competitions.

However, Lukaku added another twist to the situation at Chelsea in his interview with Sky in Italy last week.

He blamed a change of tactics from manager Thomas Tuchel for his lack of game time since his return from injury. Furthermore, he revealed a desire to return to Inter – the club he left for Chelsea in the summer – before he is past his peak.

Tuchel admitted that the noise Lukaku had created was “not helpful”. He therefore dropped him from the squad for Sunday’s 2-2 draw with Liverpool.

On Monday, reports claimed that the 28-year-old has received no backing from his team-mates for his honesty. A source told The Athletic that “none of them can believe he’s done it”.

According to journalist Dean Jones, though, causing such a stir was not Lukaku’s intention.

The reporter wrote on Twitter: “Lukaku intention wasn’t to start a push for a move away from Chelsea – am told he’s a bit surprised how brutal the fall out has been from the interview.”

Lukaku and Tuchel meet to talk future

The Belgian strikers interview last week has brought big drama to Tuchels Blues.

However, Jones added that Lukaku received advice not to do the interview because of the potential situation which has indeed transpired.

Despite dropping him from the squad, Tuchel insisted that Lukaku remains a key player for Chelsea.

He revealed that he would talk to the Belgium international and iron out the issues.

Still, that has not stopped reports linking the striker with a move out of Chelsea.

Lukaku linked with Tottenham move

Romelu Lukaku and Mateo Kovacic react to Chelsea losing

Gazzetta dello Sport reports that Lukaku could link back up with manager Antonio Conte. The pair worked together at Inter and won the Serie A title last season before going their separate ways – Conte to Tottenham in November.

What’s more, Conte tried and failed to sign the player while managing Chelsea in 2017. Lukaku instead opted to move to Manchester United.

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It remains unclear if Tuchel will bring the club-record signing back in for Wednesday’s Carabao Cup semi-final against Spurs.

Chelsea’s thrilling draw with Liverpool, meanwhile, did little for either side to reel in runaway Premier League leaders Manchester City.