A large part of the Chelsea dressing room was left stunned by Romelu Lukaku’s controversial interview, and manager Thomas Tuchel has confirmed that his decision to drop the striker came after conversations with some key players.
Lukaku shocked everyone with an unauthorised interview with Italian media in which he voiced his frustrations towards his current situation at Chelsea and declared his undying love for Inter, whom he hopes to re-join before the end of his career.
Tuchel was livid at Lukaku’s comments and dropped him from the matchday squad for Sunday’s 2-2 draw with Liverpool, and he has revealed that a number of his key players backed the decision.
“I don’t take decisions in the office or around my thoughts,” he said (via The Athletic). “I take decisions for the team and I listen to them.
“I hear their opinion, what they think and then I make my decisions once I hear them out. It is their club, their team and it is not a personal thing from me to decide only on my thoughts.
“We have a squad who we protect, which is strong in belief and behaviours. We want a clearer understanding of the situation and take a decision on a bigger foundation.”
Conversations are understood to have been held with captain Cesar Azpilicueta, N’Golo Kante, Jorginho and Antonio Rudiger, among others.
The belief is that Tuchel’s decision was backed by the majority of the Chelsea squad and Lukaku has received very little support behind the scenes, with some players even believing that the striker is angling for a move away from the club.
Tuchel, who has confirmed that he has no plans to sell Lukaku, revealed that he will hold a meeting with Lukaku on Monday to discuss the situation and get to the bottom of what he said and why he said it.