Premier League • England

‘Tense’ Tuchel relationship prompts PSG to draft up stunning move for expensive Chelsea man

Romelu Lukaku, Malang Sarr Middlesbrough v Chelsea March 2022

Paris Saint-Germain could try to deprive their former head coach Thomas Tuchel of his Chelsea number nine Romelu Lukaku, according to a report.

Lukaku returned to Chelsea last summer in a club-record deal from Inter Milan. It had been eight years since his first spell with the club – in which he never scored – ended. Since then, he had built up his reputation elsewhere.

The Belgian striker scored at a respectable rate for Everton and Manchester United. However, he was still regarded a flop at Old Trafford and left for Inter after two seasons. In Italy, he proved his doubters wrong with back-to-back seasons in which he scored 30 goals or more.

It culminated with a Serie A title in the 2020-21 season. However, Inter’s over-spending on the likes of Lukaku caught up with them and they had to sacrifice him. Needing a new striker to further strengthen a Champions League-winning side, Chelsea broke their transfer record to bring him back to English football.

Unfortunately for Lukaku, his first season back in the Premier League has been tough. He has only started 12 league games, making seven further substitute appearances. The return has been just five goals.

There have been seven in other competitions too. But it is the league that should be his bread and butter, yet he has not scored in it since December.

Lukaku also caused controversy in an Italian interview in which he admitted he would have been happy to stay at Inter if it had been possible. What’s more, he appeared to question Tuchel’s tactics.

The head coach had to fend off questions about Lukaku for a while in the aftermath. On the pitch, he has tended to prefer Kai Havertz in a number nine role. It has led to doubts about the Belgian’s future, even if Chelsea are unable to do any transfer business until a takeover goes through.

PSG plan move for Lukaku

Romelu Lukaku, Chelsea, February 2022.

When they can, though, Football Insider are predicting that PSG will make an approach for Lukaku.

The French giants are preparing themselves for the departure of Kylian Mbappe as a free agent in the summer. What’s more, even Lionel Messi has been coming under pressure.

After their elimination from the Champions League, there could be changes to mark a new era at the Parc Des Princes next season. Although Lukaku has never played for a French team, they feel he could be an appropriate addition.

It will all depend on whether Chelsea are cleared to make transfers in either direction. If they are, they might not stand in Lukaku’s way.

Indeed, Football Insider describe his relationship with Tuchel as “tense” after a fall-out behind the scenes a couple of months ago.

It is not yet clear what kind of asking price Chelsea may be able to command for their £97.5m investment. The 28-year-old is under contract in west London until 2026.

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