Sources: Lukaku set for stay after Tuchel talks

Leagues

Romelu Lukaku is expected to stay at Chelsea following clear-the-air talks with head coach Thomas Tuchel, sources have told ESPN.

The 28-year-old was dropped for Sunday’s 2-2 draw against Liverpool with Tuchel concerned about the “noise” created by an unsanctioned interview Lukaku gave to Sky Italy in which he expressed his unhappiness at the club and claimed he wanted to one day return to Inter Milan.

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Lukaku trained at the club’s Cobham base on Monday before meeting Tuchel to discuss his motivation for arranging the interview, which took place over three weeks ago but was released last Thursday.

Sources have told ESPN that Lukaku expressed contrition over how the interview was received and claimed his main focus was to address the reaction in Italy to his departure from Inter in the summer.

Lukaku joined Chelsea in a €115 million move partly motivated by Inter’s financial difficulties but was widely criticised by Inter fans, some of whom unveiled a banner outside the San Siro which, translated into English, read: “It doesn’t matter who runs away in the rain. It counts who stays in the storm. Bye Romelu.”

Chelsea took a dim view of the interview being conducted without the club’s knowledge and the perception that he was unhappy at the club amid frustration over Tuchel’s tactical approach.

But sources have told ESPN that Tuchel is keen to reintegrate Lukaku and the player is not minded to push for a move away from the club this month.

It is even possible Lukaku could play some part in Wednesday’s Carabao Cup tie against Tottenham on Wednesday but Tuchel is expected to clarify whether the Belgium international will be involved at a news conference on Tuesday.

Lukaku is expected to take steps to repair relations with both his teammates and supporters, who remained supportive of Tuchel throughout the game against Liverpool at Stamford Bridge.

It is also understood that Tuchel has backing from senior figures at Chelsea over his handling of the situation to this point.

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