Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel to 'axe' Romelu Lukaku as punishment after bombshell interview

CHELSEA striker Romelu Lukaku could be punished for his headline-grabbing interview.


Posted Sunday, January 02, 2022 by Express.co.uk

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel is reportedly considering dropping star striker Romelu Lukaku for his bombshell interview with Sky Italia as the Blues prepare for a crunch Premier League clash with Liverpool. The Belgian appeared to criticise Tuchel's tactics in the controversial chat and revealed that he would like to return to former club Inter Milan.

The interview, which was conducted three weeks ago but aired on Thursday, was arranged to provide Lukaku a chance to repair his relationship with Inter's fanbase.

Supporters of the Serie A club had been angered by his £97.5million departure to Stamford Bridge. However, the carcrash interview has now upset Chelsea supporters.

In the most damning exerpt of the wide-ranging discussion, Lukaku said: "I'm not happy with the situation and that's only natural. 

"The head coach has decided to play a different system and I mustn't let up, I need to keep working hard and be professional.

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel to 'axe' Romelu Lukaku as punishment after bombshell interview
Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel is reportedly considering dropping Romelu Lukaku

On returning to Inter, he added: "I think everything that happened last summer was not supposed to happen like this... how I left Inter, the way I left the club, how I communicated with Inter fans – this bothers me because it was not the right time.

"Now it's the right time to share my feelings. I have always said that I have Inter in my heart: I know I will return to Inter, I really hope so. I am in love with Italy, this is the right moment to talk and let people know what really happened.

"I really hope from bottom of my heart to return to Inter not at the end of my career, but when I'm still at top level to win more together. I want apologize to the Inter fan, the timing of my words was wrong: what you did for me will remain forever."

Goal have reported that Lukaku could be dropped ahead of Chelsea's clash with Liverpool on Sunday. Both sides are 11 points behind Manchester City and are scrambling to catch up with Pep Guardiola's side, but Tuchel appears prepared to make an example of Lukaku by leaving him out despite the striker being one of his most important players.

Tuchel was pressed on the interview during his pre-match press conference on Friday but remained diplomatic. 

"We don't like it, of course, because it brings noise that we don't need and is not helpful. But on the other side, we don't want to make more out of it than it actually is," the 48-year-old said. 

"You know very well how it is, it's very easy to take lines out of context, to shorten lines to make headlines, then realise later it's not so bad or what he meant.

"But let's be honest, we don't like it, because it's noise we don't need, we need a calm environment and focus and it does not help."

Asked if Lukaku had spoken to him about the interview, he added: Not at all, I don't feel [he is] unhappy. I feel the exact opposite.

"If you ask me yesterday morning (Thursday), I would say I feel the exact opposite. That's why I would say it's a surprise but I am the wrong person to ask."

At the time of the interview, Lukaku was in the final stages of his recovery from an ankle injury. He then returned to the Chelsea team before contracting COVID-19.

The former Manchester United and Everton man has two goals in his last two matches.

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