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Tuchel to have a closed-door meeting with Lukaku

Thomas Tuchel will hold talks with Romelu Lukaku over an interview he conducted in Italy in which he said he was "not happy" about his situation at Chelsea.

Lukaku, who arrived at Stamford Bridge from Inter Milan in a deal worth €115 million (£96.4 million) this summer, only returned to training last week having previously suffered from an ankle injury and a bout of COVID-19.

Sky Sport Italia to release part of a half-hour interview with the Belgian on Thursday in which he aired underlying frustrations. In response to the question, “How are you?”, Lukaku replied: “Physically I am well, still better than before.

“After two years in Italy, in which I worked so hard at Inter with fitness coaches and nutritionists, physically I’m well. I am not however happy about the situation, this is normal. I think that the manager has chosen to play with another system, I must only not give up and continue to work and be professional.

“I am not happy about the situation, but I am a hard worker and I must not give up.”

On Friday, Tuchel suggested it was an unnecessary distraction. He said: "We don't like it of course because it brings noise that we don't need and it's not helpful. But on the other side we don't want to make more out of it than it actually is. It's very easy to take lines out of context, it's very easy to shorten lines, make headlines, and later realise that it's not bad, it's not what you meant.

"I don't seem him unhappy. I feel the exact opposite if you ask me yesterday morning.

"If there is something, it's behind closed doors for sure."

He added: "It does not reflect the daily work, it does not reflect the behaviour Romelu displays at Cobham.

And asked whether they would discuss the interview, Tuchel said: "We will. We will do it behind closed doors. We will do it openly. No further comment."

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