lukaku:-i-turned-down-man-city-move-last-year

Lukaku: I turned down Man City move last year

Romelu Lukaku says he turned down a move to Manchester City in 2020, and only decided to swap Inter Milan for Chelsea when his request for a new contract in Italy was rejected this summer.

In a 29-minute interview with Sky in Italy recorded earlier in December, Lukaku said he was “not happy” with his situation at Chelsea, questioning Thomas Tuchel’s system and talking up the prospect of returning to Inter while he is still playing at a “good enough level”.

Tuchel conceded the comments are “not helpful” as they “bring noise that we don’t need”, but claimed the striker looks far from unsettled at Chelsea.

In a second part of the interview released on Friday, Lukaku said he decided to stay in Italy last summer and would “100 per cent” still be there if the club granted him his wish of a new deal in the summer.

“When I was at Inter, at the end of the first year, I turned down an offer from Manchester City which was higher than Chelsea’s this summer,” Lukaku said.

“I did it because it had only been a year, it wasn’t the right time to leave and I didn’t want to. I wanted to do something good for Inter, because I have to say that Inter saved my career to some extent.

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Romelu Lukaku told Sky in Italy earlier this month that he was ‘not happy’ with the situation at Chelsea and talked up the prospect of returning to Inter.

“I was in a deep hole at Manchester United, things weren’t going well. I was a big investment for Inter but we did great things together.

“So the second year after we won the Scudetto, I went to speak with club chiefs and asked for a new contract. I did it because I told myself I’m 28 years old, my family feels great in Milan, I still have my flat there, my mother and my son could come and live there and we would all feel comfortable.

“But they didn’t want to extend my contract, the possibility wasn’t there. It was tough for me to accept, because in my head I told myself that I would be able to do a few more years in Milan.

“In my opinion, there are three absolute top teams in football – Real Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern Munich. Every player dreams of playing for one of these teams one day. So I thought if I ever had that possibility, I would sign a new contract with Inter and then go there.

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Thomas Tuchel says comments made by striker Romelu Lukaku in a past interview about his place in the squad have not been helpful, but may have been taken out of context.

“But it didn’t happen, so I told myself that there is only one team where I could possibly see myself – Chelsea. I wasn’t thinking about going there, but at one point they came in for me and I asked Inzaghi to leave.

“The fact that they didn’t try to make me sign a new contract bothered me a bit, it hurt me even. If Inter offered me a new contract, I would have stayed 100 per cent. That goes without saying.

“Also the fact that I hadn’t won anything in England in eight years there bothered me a lot. So it was hard to turn down the chance to come back here with the team I have supported since I was a child.”

More to follow…