REVEALED: Romelu Lukaku is being urged by his advisors to APOLOGISE for his controversial interview, with Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich and director Marina Granovskaia backing disciplinary action for the £98m striker
- Chelsea are considering disciplinary action against striker Romelu Lukaku
- He is in hot water after giving an authorised interview admitting he is unhappy
- Lukaku has been dropped by Thomas Tuchel and could face further action
- The club want an apology from him and could face further punishment
Lukaku is being pressed into apologising for the unauthorised interview that leaves Thomas Tuchel agonising over whether to recall Chelsea’s record signing for tomorrow’s clash against Tottenham.
Lukaku was axed from the entire first-team squad for Sunday’s 2-2 draw versus Liverpool for the interview he gave to Sky Sport Italy, that first aired last Thursday, in which said he was unhappy under Tuchel.
On Sunday night, Tuchel confirmed that he would speak to Lukaku and the Belgium international was among the players who trained at the Chelsea’s Cobham HQ yesterday ahead of his showdown summit with the Blues head coach.
Chelsea want Romelu Lukaku to apologise for his controversial interview with Italian media
The striker was dropped from Thomas Tuchel’s squad to face Liverpool after his comments
Senior members of Chelsea’s hierarchy, including director Marina Granovskaia, are understood to have been involved in internal discussions regarding the controversy – an indication of how seriously the matter is being treated.
Indeed, Sportsmail has learned that while Lukaku is a popular member of the squad, there are players who feel the episode should not go formally unpunished by the club.
Any disciplinary action the club take is likely to be backed by owner Roman Abramovich, who is understood to support Tuchel’s stance.
And it is understood individuals close to the £97.5million striker urged him to show contrition during Monday’s talks with a view to drawing a line under the matter that has engulfed the club in recent days and that they fear has damaged his reputation.
Lukaku is a popular member of the team but there are players who feel he should be punished
Director Marina Granovskaia (left) and owner Roman Abramovich back disciplinary action
Lukaku himself is said to have been surprised by the level of outrage towards his interview with an Italian journalist, who he is said to have had a relationship with from his time in Serie A playing for Inter Milan.
It is understood that Lukaku never had the intention of causing such a controversy at Chelsea but instead wanted to build bridges with Inter supporters who have fallen out of love with him following his exit in the summer.
Chelsea are not commenting on the outcome of Monday’s meeting between Lukaku and Tuchel or the prospect of disciplining the 28-year-old – nevertheless there is a feeling that showing regret will pave the way for all parties to move forward.
Tuchel is set to reveal his decision over whether to recall Lukaku for Wednesday’s crucial Carabao Cup semi-final against arch London rivals Tottenham, a game that marks former boss Antonio Conte’s first return to Stamford Bridge since being sacked by Chelsea in the summer of 2018, on Tuesday when he holds pre-match media briefing.
Chelsea want to draw a line under the matter and integrate Lukaku back into the squad again
There is confidence at the west London club that the damage caused by Lukaku’s interview is not beyond repair and that the striker can fully reintegrate into Tuchel’s plans.
And while Lukaku is being encouraged to hold his hands up, there are concerns from within his camp that it will take a while for this unsavoury chapter to blow over.
There remains confusion behind the scenes over who facilitated the interview, which has has been described as ‘suicidal’ by individuals close to the situation, while there have also been assertions that Lukaku conducted the interview completely independently.
No matter how it came about, Chelsea have been angered by the episode while Lukaku is now also facing the challenge of having to win back sections of supporters who are equally as upset.
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