Thomas Tuchel accepts Romelu Lukaku apology after controversial interview

Belgian striker was dropped for Liverpool clash after airing grievances to Sky Italia

Romelu Lukaku has apologised to Thomas Tuchel for his controversial interview and is poised to return to Chelsea's squad for the first leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final against Tottenham on Wednesday night.

Tuchel held talks with Lukaku on Monday and was left satisfied that the £97.5m forward was remorseful after going public with his unhappiness with life at Stamford Bridge during an unauthorised interview with Sky Italia.

Chelsea's manager said that the Belgian was determined "to clean the mess up" after being left out of last Sunday's 2-2 draw with Liverpool. Tuchel was in a mood to move on and he intends to bring Lukaku back into the fold when Spurs visit Stamford Bridge.

“First of all we were even in the background happy that we took the time that it needed to look calmly on it and talk calmly,” Tuchel said. “He apologised and is back in the squad for [TUESDAY’S]training.


“For me the most important thing was to understand and clearly understand and believe that it was not intentional. He did not do this intentionally to create noise in front of such a big game. And it’s the very first time even he has behaved like this.”

Although Tuchel is pleased to have Lukaku back in contention, he said the 28-year-old must take responsibility for his comments. Lukaku created a storm after questioning Tuchel's system and saying that he wants to return to Inter one day. The interview, aired last Thursday but conducted three weeks previously, did not go down well with anyone at Chelsea.

“It’s not that big as maybe people want it to be, but it’s also not small,” Tuchel said. “But it is small enough to stay calm, accept an apology and to move on forward. He’s very aware of what happened and what he created and he feels the responsibility to clean the mess up.

“Maybe we will have a bit of smell still from it, of course. He can handle it, but he also has no other choice. He cannot expect everybody to be super happy the very next day. But he’s still our player and we have good, good reasons and a lot of reasons to make him play for us, and to convince him and to fight hard that he’s our player. We’re happy he’s our player, we will protect him.”

Trevoh Chalobah is out with a hamstring problem and Andreas Christensen is doubtful with a back injury but Timo Werner could be on the bench after recovering from Covid-19. Reece James and Ben Chilwell are long-term absentees.

Tuchel said Thiago Silva is showing no signs of slowing down after the 37-year-old defender signed a one-year contract extension. "Benjamin Button, " he said. "Thiago Button of football. I know how much work is behind that. It is a miracle in a way because he came to this league and this schedule at the very end of his career, which was very brave.

“We’re happy because a new contract makes him calm. Thiago needs to be calm because he’s a very sensitive and emotional person, which makes him also so precious for our team, for our dressing room. He can feel emotions, a different set of emotions to others. He can help so much in this.”

– Guardian