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Tuchel critical of Lukaku’s comments

FOOTBALL By Reuters | January 2nd 2022 | 2 min read

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel and Romelu Lukaku in a recent match. [Reuters]

Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku’s comments about being dissatisfied with life at the club are unhelpful, manager Thomas Tuchel said on Friday, adding that they would discuss matters with the striker behind closed doors.

Lukaku, who joined Chelsea from Italian champions Inter Milan in August, told Sky Italy that he was unhappy with Tuchel’s system while also admitting he would like to return to Italy at some point in his career.

“We don’t like it of course. It brings noise that we don’t need and it’s not helpful,” Tuchel told reporters ahead of Chelsea’s home match against Liverpool today. “But we don’t want to make more out of it than it actually is.

“It is easy to take lines out of context, shorten lines, make headlines and then realise later that it is not so bad.

“We can take the time to try and understand what is going on because it does not reflect the daily work, attitude and behaviour which Romelu shows here at Cobham. If there is something to discuss it’s behind closed doors, for sure.”

Lukaku also revealed he turned down an offer from Premier League champions Manchester City in 2020 prior to joining Chelsea, while insisting his first choice was to stay at Inter.

“When I was at Inter, at the end of the first year, I turned down an offer from Manchester City which was higher than Chelsea’s this summer,” he added.

“It wasn’t the right time to leave and I didn’t want to. I wanted to do something good for Inter, because I have to say that Inter saved my career to some extent. I was in a deep hole at Manchester United, things weren’t going well.

“So the second year after we won the Scudetto, I went to speak with club chiefs and asked for a new contract. I did it because I told myself - I’m 28 years old, my family feels great in Milan... but they didn’t want to extend my contract.

Meanwhile, Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp will miss today’ trip to Chelsea after returning a suspected positive COVID-19 test, the Premier League said yesterday.

Assistant manager Pepijn Lijnders will take charge at Stamford Bridge in the absence of Klopp, who is isolating.

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