Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel revealed he was surprised by the news of Romelu Lukaku’s agent’s intentions to hold talks with the club’s new owners on the eve of the FA Cup final, after being given no indication of it by the player or agent himself.
The striker’s agent confirmed plans to speak to the club’s new owners about his client’s future at Stamford Bridge on Friday, just one day before the Blues’ crunch Wembley clash.
His £97.5million move to Stamford Bridge hasn’t worked out as either Lukaku or Chelsea would have hoped and he has been linked with a return to Serie A, with both Inter and AC Milan interested.
Ahead of his side’s final showdown the German said: ‘If he plans to talk with the owner then maybe it’s not his plan to talk with me. If he gets a meeting, maybe he can talk.
‘It’s his right and we will talk to anybody and evaluate the situation of any player including Romelu.
‘I was only aware of it five minutes ago. That’s what it is. Sometimes in football the tension is so high it attracts situations that you don’t want to have before big matches.
‘For me it’s not a distraction and hopefully it’s not for everyone who works with the team.’
Lukaku looked to have given Tuchel a boost ahead of the big game as he has rediscovered his scoring touch in recent weeks.
He bagged a brace against Wolves before finding the back of the net against Leeds midweek but before then, Lukaku had not scored a goal in the Premier League since a 1-1 draw with Brighton on December 29.
The Belgian’s mega-money return to Stamford Bridge has not lived up to expectations and he has already been linked with a move away.
When asked about rumours that Lukaku could return to Italy, his agent Federico Pastorello told La Repubblica: ‘He has the club and the fans in his heart, he has never hidden it, like his love for Anderlecht where he would like to end his career.
‘But we cannot think about negotiations. Chelsea are in takeover discussions, we do not know the new owners, let alone if we can open talks with Inter or AC Milan. We have to wait.’
His agent went on to admit that there has been a ‘problem’ for Lukaku in his second spell at Stamford Bridge.
He said: ‘For the cost of the transfer, no one could have expected such a situation.
‘I do not discuss the tactical choices, but it is obvious that there was a problem. The numbers, however, must be considered – he is still the team’s best scorer, with less playing time compared to his team-mates.
‘The situation must be carefully assessed, now there is Champions League qualification to secure, there is the FA Cup final. Romelu is focused on this, we have not talked about anything else.’
The forward has not been shy to express his dissatisfaction at the Premier League side at times this season.
In December, Lukaku admitted he was ‘not happy’ with his place in Thomas Tuchel’s first-team plans.
During an interview with Sky Sport Italy, the Belgium international said: ‘Physically I am fine. But I’m not happy with the situation at Chelsea. Tuchel has chosen to play with another system.’
He also revealed that Inter Milan is in his heart and that ‘he knows he will return’ to the Serie A giants in the future.