Pochettino: Chelsea and Lukaku agree on the desired situation
Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino has stated that both the club and Romelu Lukaku are in agreement regarding the striker’s absence from their pre-season tour to the United States.
Lukaku did not join training at Cobham in July and is not part of Chelsea’s squad for the trip. Reports suggest that the 30-year-old Belgian international has attracted interest from Juventus and Inter Milan.
Pochettino remarked, “I think both the club and player are in a position that they wanted. I think when you have this type of decision, it’s because all parties agree. The player and the club are working hard to find the best solution for everyone. The decision was made in accordance with the players, and we are acting accordingly.”
Lukaku was initially signed by Inter Milan from Manchester United in the summer of 2019 for a club-record fee of 80 million euros on a five-year contract. After scoring 64 goals in 95 appearances across two seasons, Chelsea acquired him for a then club-record fee of £97.5 million in August 2021, hoping for a higher level of performance compared to his previous stint at Stamford Bridge between 2011 and 2014, when he failed to score in 15 games.
During the 2021–22 season, Lukaku started only 16 Premier League games under Thomas Tuchel. He returned to Inter Milan on loan last season, failing to make the desired impact for both himself and the club.
While Lukaku has resumed training at Cobham in preparation for the new season, his time at Chelsea seems to be coming to an end. He is one of four first-team players, along with Hakim Ziyech, Callum Hudson-Odoi, and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who have not travelled to the USA and are expected to leave the club.
Chelsea’s pre-season friendly schedule includes a match against Wrexham followed by games in the “Premier League Summer Series” against Fulham, Newcastle, and Brighton. The tour will conclude in Chicago with a fixture against last season’s Bundesliga runners-up, Borussia Dortmund.