Lukaku’s agent admits to ‘problem’ at Chelsea as they wait to open exit talks

Will Ford
Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku claps the supporters

Romelu Lukaku’s agent, Federico Pastorello, admits his client has had a “problem” under Thomas Tuchel at Chelsea this season, and says they are waiting until the end of the season to “open talks” over his future.

Lukaku has scored 15 goals in 42 appearances this term following his £97.5m move from Inter Milan in the summer.

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The Belgian striker was forced to apologise for an ill-informed interview with an Italian media outlet in December in which he admitted he was unhappy with the system Tuchel was playing.

He’s struggled for game time since, with Kai Havertz often preferred to lead the Chelsea line, and the 29-year-old has been linked with a return to Serie A this summer.

But Lukaku has started Chelsea’s last two Premier League games, scoring three goals, and is expected to play at least some part in the FA Cup final against Liverpool on Saturday.

And Pastorello insists Lukaku’s focus is on the end of the season and believes some context is required to evaluate his first season back at Chelsea.

“Given the transfer parameters, nobody could expect this situation,” Pastorello told La Repubblica.

“I won’t discuss technical choices, but it’s clear that there was a problem.

“However, his numbers must be put into context. He is the best scorer in the team despite getting less playing time than his teammates.

“Now we must defend a Champions League spot and play the FA Cup final. That’s the only thing Romelu is focused on, we haven’t talked about anything else.’

When asked about the reports linking Lukaku with a move back to Inter, Pastorello replied: “Lot of noise for nothing. The club [Inter] and fans are in his heart.

“He has never hidden it, like his love for Anderlecht where he would like to end his career.

“But we cannot think about negotiations. Chelsea are in takeover discussions, we do not know the new owners, let alone if we can open talks with Inter or AC Milan. We have to wait.”