Thomas Tuchel says Romelu Lukaku has apologised for controversial interview 4 months ago

Thomas Tuchel says Romelu Lukaku has apologised for controversial interview

'He did not do this intentionally to create noise in front of such a big game.'

Thomas Tuchel says striker Romelu Lukaku has apologised for his controversial interview in which he claimed he was unhappy with his situation at Chelsea.

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Lukaku has been at the centre of controversy after an interview was aired last week, in which the Belgian revealed his unhappiness at Stamford Bridge and spoke of his love for former club Inter Milan.

The 28-year-old was dropped from the Blues' squad for the Premier League clash against Liverpool at the weekend, but boss Tuchel has confirmed he is in contention to return for Chelsea in Wednesday's Carabao Cup game against Tottenham after apologising for the interview.

The German revealed that the pair had held clear-the-air talks and that Lukaku feels responsible and determined to "clean the mess up".

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Speaking at his press conference ahead of the clash against Spurs, the former PSG manager said: "First of all, we were even in the background happy that we took the time that it needed to look calmly on it and talk calmly.

"He has apologised and is back in the squad for today's training [session] later.

"We have had enough time to clear the air and move on

"For me, the most important thing was to understand and clearly understand and believe that it was not intentional.

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"He did not do this intentionally to create noise in front of such a big game."

Although Tuchel is pleased to have Lukaku back in contention for selection, he also insisted the former Inter Milan frontman must now take responsibility himself to resolve the situation.

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He added: "It's not that big as maybe people want it to be, but it's also not small.

"But it is small enough to stay calm, accept an apology and to move on forward. He's very aware of what happened and what he created and he feels the responsibility to clean the mess up.

"Maybe we will have a bit of smell still from it of course. He can handle it, but he also has no other choice.

"He cannot expect everybody to be super happy the very next day.

"But he's still our player and we have good, good reasons and a lot of reasons to make him play for us, and to convince him and to fight hard that he's our player. We're happy he's our player, we will protect him."

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Lukaku - who became the club's record signing when he returned to the Bridge for £97.5million in the summer - has scored seven goals and grabbed two assists in 18 appearances this season.

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