Romelu Lukaku has been left out of Chelsea’s squad to face Liverpool this afternoon following his damning comments recently.
According to The Athletic, the 28-year-old striker will not take any part against the Reds on Sunday afternoon following an interview conducted with Sky Italia, where he openly criticised Blues boss Thomas Tuchel.
Lukaku has scored in his past two appearances for Chelsea but will not be involved in perhaps the Blues’ biggest match of their Premier League season so far.
Tuchel admitted in his pre-match press conference on New Year’s Eve that he was surprised by the comments and that he believed the £97.5million striker was happy at Chelsea.
“We don’t like it, of course, because it brings noise that we don’t need and is not helpful. But on the other side, we don’t want to make more out of it than it actually is.
“You know very well how it is, it’s very easy to take lines out of context, to shorten lines to make headlines, then realise later it’s not so bad or what he meant.
“But let’s be honest, we don’t like it, because it’s noise we don’t need, we need a calm environment and focus and it does not help.”
When asked if Lukaku had spoken to him about it, Tuchel replied: Not at all, I don’t feel him unhappy.
“I feel the exact opposite. If you ask me yesterday morning, I would say I feel the exact opposite. That’s why I would say it’s a surprise but I am the wrong person to ask.”
But Chelsea will have to cope without Lukaku later today, with the Blues desperate for three points against Liverpool to try and close the 11-point gap on leaders Manchester City.