Romelu Lukaku says he refused to move to Manchester City in 2020 and only decided to swap Inter Milan for Chelsea when his application for a new contract in Italy was turned down this summer.
In a 29 minute interview with Heaven in Italy recorded in early December, Lukaku said he was “not happy” with his situation at Chelsea, questioning Thomas Tuchel’s system and talking about the prospect of returning to Inter while still playing at a “fairly good level”.
Tuchel admitted that the comments “are not helpful” as they “bring noises that we don’t need”, but said the striker seems anything but restless at Chelsea.
In a second part of the interview released on Friday, Lukaku said he had decided to stay in Italy last summer and that “100%” he would still be there if the club granted him his wish for a new contract in the summer.
“When I was at Inter Milan at the end of the first year, I turned down an offer from Manchester City that was higher than Chelsea’s this summer,” said Lukaku.
“I did it because it had only been a year, it wasn’t the right time to leave and I didn’t want to do it. I wanted to do something good for Inter, because I have to say that Inter saved my career to some extent.
“I was in a deep hole at Manchester United, things weren’t going well. I was a great investment for Inter but we did great things together.
“So the second year after winning the Scudetto, I went to talk to the club managers and asked for a new contract. I did it because I told myself I’m 28, my family is fine at Milan, I still have my apartment there, my mother and son could come and live there and we would all feel comfortable.
“But they didn’t want to extend my contract, there was no possibility. It was hard for me to accept, because in my head I was telling myself that I could do a few more years at Milan.
“In my opinion, there are three absolute best teams in football: Real Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern Munich. Every player dreams of playing for one of these teams someday. So I figured if I ever got that chance, I would sign a new one. contract with Inter and then I go there.
“But it didn’t happen, so I told myself there is only one team I could see myself at, Chelsea. I didn’t think about going there, but at a certain point they came in for me and I asked Inzaghi to leave.
“The fact that they didn’t try to get me to sign a new contract bothered me a little, it also hurt me. If Inter had offered me a new contract, I would have stayed 100%. It goes without saying.
“The fact that I hadn’t won anything in England for eight years there also bothered me a lot. So it was hard to turn down the opportunity to come back here with the team I have supported since I was a child.”
More to follow …