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Chelsea players are ‘convinced’ summer signing Romelu Lukaku is already looking for a route out of Stamford Bridge, according to reports. The striker shocked manager Thomas Tuchel, his team mates, his fan-base, and the rest of the footballing world when he slammed his sides’ tactics and highlighted his desire to return to Inter Milan.
Lukaku became the reigning Champions League holders’ record signing when the signed him from the Serie A giants for £98million in the summer.
The Belgian was generating a positive run of form having scored two goals and contributing one assist in his first two appearances since recovering from a bout of Coronavirus.
However, Tuchel responded to the interview by excluding him from their 2-2 draw with Liverpool in the Premier League clash.
And as the dust begins to settle from Lukaku’s jaw dropping interview with Sky Italia, his Chelsea colleagues are reportedly convinced he is looking for an exit in January.
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“I was speaking to one of the players and asked him if anyone was sticking up for Lukaku. He said no. None of them can believe he’s done it,” a source close to the Athletic said.
Lukaku’s explosive interview with the Italian outlet is believed to have taken place when the former Manchester United and Everton striker was still recovering from Italy.
As well as connoting his love and passion for Inter and their fan base, he also divulged his dissatisfaction at Tuchel’s tactics and the system Chelsea play.
“I’m not happy with the situation and that’s only natural,” Lukaku said.
“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. I’m not happy with the situation but I am a grafter and I mustn’t let up.
“I think the coach can get me playing more but I have to respect the choices he makes. All I have to do is keep working and wait for my moment.”
While Tuchel was left furious with the unnecessary “noise” which disrupted his side’s preparation and harmony ahead of their clash against Jurgen Klopp’s side, the former Paris Saint-Germain and Borussia Dortmund manager said he will hold clear the air talks with the apparently unhappy striker.
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“It is not the worst thing in the world. It is not the first time an interview causes some noise that nobody needs but we can handle it, I don’t feel personally attacked,” Tuchel said after the draw with Liverpool.
“First we have to evaluate the situation and not listen to the media or the pressure.
“But we want to understand what he said and why he said it. This is the meeting tomorrow.
From there, we will take the decision and if the decision is, ‘He is good to go on Wednesday’, this is the decision. If it’s not, it’s not.”
Chelsea face Tottenham in the first-leg of the League Cup semi-final, before hosting non-league Chesterfield in the FA Cup.
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