Romelu Lukaku has distanced himself from his agent’s claim that the striker wants to hold talks with Chelsea this summer about his future at the club.
Lukaku joined Chelsea in a club-record £97.5m transfer from Inter Milan at the start of the season but has struggled to justify his hefty price tag.
The 29-year-old has been hampered by illness, injury and a lack of form, which has seen him score just 15 goals in 42 games in all competitions for the Blues this season.
Lukaku gave a controversial interview to sky in italy in December in which he questioned Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel’s tactics and raised the possibility of a return to Inter.
Since then, the striker has often found himself on the bench, with Tuchel preferring Kai Havertz as his number 9, although Lukaku has found form in the last week having scored three goals in the Blues’ last two games.
Federico Pastorello, Lukaku’s agent, gave an interview to the Italian newspaper the Republicpublished on Friday, in which he admitted his client had encountered “problems” at Stamford Bridge during the campaign and would seek talks with Chelsea, which is to be acquired by Todd Boehly’s consortium this month.
Pastorello said: “Given the transfer figures, nobody could have expected such a situation. I am not one to discuss technical options, but it is obvious that there was a problem.”
“The numbers, however, must be weighed. He is the best scorer on the team this season, even with less playing time than his teammates.”
However, Lukaku seemed unhappy with his agent’s public comments and took to Instagram later on Friday to say Pastorello’s interview was “not in my name”.
“I will never let anyone speak for me,” Lukaku wrote. I kept my mouth shut and focused on helping the team finish the season in the best possible way.
“So if someone [is] out there trying to say something about me and the club… not in my name.”
Tuchel: Maybe Lukaku doesn’t plan to talk to me.
Pastorello’s comments have put Lukaku’s future at Chelsea in doubt for the second time this season, and both times have been prompted by interviews published in the days before crucial matches against Liverpool.
Lukaku’s interview with sky in italy it came before a Premier League match against Jurgen Klopp’s team. Tuchel opted to leave Lukaku for the match, which the Blues drew 2-2 at Stamford Bridge.
Comments from Lukaku’s agent have come to light just a day before Chelsea take on Liverpool in the FA Cup final at Wembley, a match the Belgian is hoping to start after his impressive recent performances.
Tuchel admitted that he only found out about Pastorello’s interview in the minutes before his press conference on Friday, but admitted that Lukaku had a “right” to seek a meeting with the Chelsea hierarchy.
“I think if he plans to talk to the owner, maybe it’s not his plan to talk to me,” Tuchel said. “Fair enough. Let’s see if he gets a meeting! It’s his right.”
“We will talk to anyone. We will evaluate any situation of any player, including Romelu. We will see what is going to happen and what the plans are.”
“I only realized five or 10 minutes ago actually. It’s what sometimes happens in football. The attention is so high that sometimes it attracts situations that you don’t want to have before the big games. It’s like that.
“For me, it’s not a distraction and hopefully for everyone who works on the team and the team itself it’s not.”
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