Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel has revealed he plans to hold a meeting with striker Romelu Lukaku on Monday, as the fallout from the Belgian’s explosive interview with Sky Italia continues.
In the unauthorised interview conducted three weeks ago, Lukaku voiced his frustration about his side’s tactical system and expressed a desire to eventually return to former club Inter.
The public outburst has angered the Chelsea fanbase and even led to rumours that the summer signing is already considering his future at Stamford Bridge.
Lukaku was subsequently left out of the matchday squad for the crucial Premier League clash against Liverpool on Sunday – a match that ended 2-2, handing Mancester City the advantage in the title race.
Tuchel had explained that the “noise” surrounding the interview led to his decision, as he sought to avoid distractions ahead of a must-win game.
Asked about the situation once again following the draw with the Reds, the German added: “It is not Chelsea-like but it’s also not the worst thing in the world and it’s not the first time that an interview out there causes some noise that nobody needs.
“I don’t feel personally attacked. I don’t feel personally angry but the noise was too big on Friday. We took the decision to delay the decision, also to protect Romelu from a rash decision, because we need to speak, we need to read the full interview, to stay calm and not lose our head.
“It was simply the decision to protect the preparation for a match like this. So it was clear he will not be in the squad, he will not play, and from there on there was a bit more focus to play a match like this.”
Tuchel revealed that he and the player will discuss the matter further on Monday ahead of the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg against Tottenham in midweek.
“We need to evaluate the situation and not listen to the media and not listen to the pressure but understand what he said, which is why there is the meeting tomorrow,” Tuchel continued.
“From there we will take the decision. If the decision is he is good to go for Wednesday, this is the decision, but I cannot tell you right now because we need to talk and understand the situation better and then from there we go once the situation is clear.
“There is no doubt he will stay our player and we will also protect our player.”