Chelsea loanee Romelu Lukaku admits that he struggled not to “explode” amid the Juventus transfer saga that saw his reputation at Inter Milan damaged.
- Lukaku was linked to Juve after snubbing Inter
- Ended up at Roma
- Striker opens up on transfer saga
WHAT HAPPENED? The Belgian striker had an eventful summer as he was linked with several clubs before finally joining Roma on loan from Chelsea. Lukaku was first linked with a permanent move to Inter after he played an important role in guiding the Nerazzurri to the Champions League final. The striker then reportedly changed his mind and started negotiating with Juventus, which left Inter furious and they decided to pull out of the running for his signature. It was believed that the striker had already agreed personal terms with the Bianconeri and was ready to sign a three-year deal, with an option for an additional year. However, Lukaku eventually ended up reuniting with Jose Mourinho in the Italian capital. The forward faced a lot of flak for his behaviour throughout the summer but now he has claimed that his links to a “certain club”, possibly Juventus, “didn’t make any sense”.
WHAT THEY SAID: “What was the biggest nonsense I read? That I was supposedly told I was going to a certain club, but it didn’t make any sense,” he told reporters. “There are just a lot of outsiders who liked to speak on my behalf. A lot of bullsh*t has been published. Most of the people in the room know me. You know that I don’t like to beat around the bush. I will speak in time, but if I really said how it all went last summer, everyone would be shocked. There were moments when I could explode. Five years ago I might have done that too, but now I didn’t waste energy on it. It was a moment to be silent and focus on myself. I concentrated on what I do well can: play football.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Lukaku failed to produce the goods in the Champions League final against Manchester City as he missed a number of scoring opportunities for Inter. He was also guilty of accidentally blocking a goal-bound effort from Roberto Dimarco. Now, the striker has touched on his poor performance in the final and claimed that his thoughts were “not there at that moment.”
“I didn’t feel good the first few days afterwards. Because of the loss and the missed opportunities. I will explain it later, but my thoughts were not there at that moment,” he stated.
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WHAT NEXT? Lukaku has been able to rediscover his form under Mourinho as he boasts of scoring seven goals in eight matches for Roma. He is now away on international duty with Belgium ahead of their next set of Euro 2024 qualifiers.