Romelu Lukaku is in line to return to Chelsea’s squad after holding productive talks with Thomas Tuchel over the striker’s controversial interview. Tuchel is expected to restore Lukaku to his side when Chelsea host Tottenham in the first leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final on Wednesday after the £97.5m forward expressed regret over going public with his unhappiness about life at Stamford Bridge.
The Belgian was left out entirely against Liverpool on Sunday, but he trained with the first team before holding talks with his manager on Monday and there is a desire on all sides to move on from the episode. It is understood that Marina Granovskaia, the powerful Chelsea director, was involved in helping Lukaku and Tuchel clear the air. Tuchel had the backing of the club’s hierarchy and his squad when he decided to drop Chelsea’s record signing against Liverpool.
Chelsea fans were left fuming after Lukaku questioned Tuchel’s system and said that he hopes to return to Internazionale one day in an unauthorised interview. The 28-year-old has no intention of leaving Stamford Bridge, but Tuchel was unimpressed with his actions. Tuchel said that he did not feel personally attacked, but the German is believed to be unhappy that Lukaku allowed doubts over his commitment to Chelsea to bubble up before a huge game against Liverpool.
The Tottenham manager, Antonio Conte, said he hoped Lukaku, with whom he won Serie A at Internazionale last season, would play. “I think it’s always a good thing to play against a team that has all the players are available,” he said. “For the people that watch the game, I think it’s good to see the best players on the pitch.”Meanwhile, Thiago Silva has eased Chelsea’s defensive concerns after signing a one-year contract extension.
Thomas Tuchel is facing the prospect of having to reshape his defence in the summer, with César Azpilicueta, Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rüdiger out of contract. Chelsea are yet to agree extensions with the trio but there has never been any prospect of Silva leaving the club on a free.
Tuchel values Silva’s leadership and will be happy to have the 37‑year‑old for another season. The Brazil centre-back, who has impressed since joining on a free from Paris Saint-Germain in the summer of 2020, helped Chelsea to win the Champions League last season and hopes to go to the World Cup this year.