A lot of rumors as well as news is coming out of the Chelsea camp. The Blues recently won the Club World Cup, with goals from Romelu Lukaku and Kai Havertz. Lukaku scored a goal each in Chelsea’s semi-final and final games at the tournament. However, Lukaku has earned special praises after both of his games at the club world cup were an all-round performances. Especially after Lukaku confessed that he was unhappy at Chelsea in an interview to Sky Italia. Since that interview, Chelsea manager Tuchel has been blasted for his behavior towards Lukaku, despite the Belgian’s apology.
In other reports, Chelsea have made a serious offer to Barcelona’s Ronald Araujo. Chelsea are in search of a new center-back since last summer. The Londoners even made an offer to Sevilla’s Jules Kounde, to which the Spanish club bluntly said ‘No’. According to Fabrizio Romano, Kounde even agreed personal terms with Chelsea in the summer, but the move didn’t go through. In addition to Kounde, Chelsea will also seek Araujo in Spain.
Chelsea boss Tuchel lambasted for his attitude towards Lukaku
Lukaku in the interview criticized Tuchel’s Chelsea system which was ruining his form. Moreover, he went on to state that he was more happy at Inter than Chelsea. Of course it angered Chelsea as well as Tuchel. As a result, Tuchel dropped Lukaku for the very next game, which was against Liverpool. Chelsea somewhat missed Lukaku in that game, where they had 6 shots on target but scored only 2 in a 2-2 draw. However, Lukaku apologized for his comments, and Tuchel quickly restored him in the starting line-up against Tottenham game which followed. But barring that incident, Lukaku still squandered in front of the goal. In his 9 games post the interview thing, he has only managed 3 goals. According to BBC Sport’s Gareth Brooks, Tuchel too has a share in this dry run from Lukaku.
Crooks has blasted Tuchel’s behavior towards Lukaku, despite giving him the game-time. “The overzealous nonsense by the Chelsea manager in sanctioning the Belgium striker after he fell for the flattery of an interviewer in Italy almost cost Tuchel and the club,” said Brooks. While speaking to BBC Sport, he further praised Lukaku for his apology drawing comparisons with other stars. “Instead Lukaku apologized when other strikers of similar caliber might have put two fingers up to the manager and made for the exit. All credit to Lukaku, who has knuckled down and worked his way back to form with regular appearances, which is all the £97.5m player wanted in the first place. Lukaku led the line brilliantly against Palmeiras and was instrumental in Chelsea winning the Club World Cup for the first time in their history. Not a bad return.”
Chelsea’s bid for Araujo
Chelsea have started the process of identifying their top-targets for the summer. As it was reported they will go for Kounde first in the summer, Ronald Araujo’s name has also popped up on their list. It is quite evident that Chelsea are linked with several center-backs, as they could lose their own duo of center-backs in the summer. Antonio Rudiger and Andres Christensen are the two defenders whose contract expires in the summer. The duo are yet to sign extensions and are heavily tipped to leave for free. Moreover, club captain Cesar Azpilicueta’s contract is also up in the summer, and is linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea’s defense could be severely hampered if all three of they defenders leave. And to avoid such a situation they have accelerated their plans for transfers. Araujo, 22 has been a regular starter for Barcelona since his breakthrough to the first-team. He has formed a solid partnership with Gerard Pique at the back which has reaped positive results. Araujo has 18 months left on his Barcelona contract, and is currently negotiating an extension. However, reports lase week suggested that he has rejected the first offer of renewal from the Catalan club. But he still emphasizes that his future is at Barcelona only. Manchester United have also shown interest in signing Araujo but Chelsea have taken the next step. The Blues have reportedly made a ‘strong bid’ to sign Araujo. Major details are not out yet, but Chelsea believe they have made a substantial offer to sign Araujo.
Mason Mount injury fears for Chelsea as Tuchel provides update
The Club World Cup trophy came with a headache for Thomas Tuchel. Though the manager won the trophy, he lost Mason Mount to serious injury. The Chelsea starlet limped-off on the half-hour mark of the final, owning to an ankle injury. Mount collided with Palmeiras defender and Azpilicueta in the air in Palmeiras penalty box, and Azpilicueta fell directly on his teammate’s ankle.
Thomas Tuchel has provided an update on Mount’s injury, which looks quite disappointing. “..we’ll have to see. He came straight to me and said it does not feel good, it feels very stiff and painful, and he did not know if he can continue so we had to make the decision.” From his assessment it can be predicted that Mount misses Chelsea’s league game against Crystal Palace. Moreover, there is also growing fear that Mount could also the huge showdown against Liverpool in the League Cup final on 27th February.