Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has dropped Belgian Talisman Romelu Lukaku out of the Blues Squad to face Liverpool following his recent controversial interview with Sky Sports.
According to Nizaar Kinsella, the German tactician will reveal his squad to the team before the game on Sunday and the Belgian will not even be on the bench even after he was judged to be criticising his manager’s tactics.
It has since emerged that neither the club nor the player’s representatives knew of the interview beforehand. It appears to have arranged directly with the Sky Sport journalist in London.
His comments became football’s biggest talking point on Thursday, outraging the west London club’s fan base.
“I’m not happy with the situation and that’s only natural,” Lukaku told Sky Sport Italia. “The head coach has decided to play a different system and I mustn’t let up, I need to keep working hard and be professional.
“I’m not happy with the situation but I’m a grafter and I mustn’t let up.”
Although the context may have changed, the content of the quotes have frustrated many people around Lukaku.
Tuchel’s was relaxed with the media’s persistent questioning on Friday morning, however behind closed doors, several sources have said that the manager is angrier than it looked with his £97.5 million ($136m) striker from Inter.
Who could play instead?
Kai Havertz is well-placed to replace Lukaku despite a prolonged spell on the sidelines with Covid.
The Blues have also welcomed back Timo Werner, but he is still thought to be struggling to overcome his own bout with the virus.