Premier League - Mourinho reveals root of Lukaku problem

Jose Mourinho says Romelu Lukaku was "not highly motivated" to compete for a place in the Chelsea side, which lay behind his £28m move to Everton.

Premier League - Mourinho reveals root of Lukaku problem

View photo

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho (R) talks to Romelu Lukaku during their English Premier League soccer match against Hull City at Stamford Bridge in London August 18, 2013


The Belgium international signed a five-year contract with the Toffees, with whom he had a successful loan spell last season scoring 16 goals in 33 appearances, after a club record deal was agreed.


Lukaku, who played just 15 times in three years at Stamford Bridge, has not enjoyed the best of relationships with Mourinho after disagreements about his loan spell last summer and then where his future lay in the long-term.

Last season, Mourinho had this cryptic message for the striker: "Romelu likes to speak. He’s a young boy who likes to speak. But the only thing he didn’t say is why he went to Everton on loan. That’s the only thing he never says. And my last contact with him was to tell him exactly that. ‘Why do you never say why you are not here?’ ”


But now Mourinho has revealed all. Speaking after Chelsea's 3-1 friendly win over Vitesse, he said:

“The thinking was, first of all, the fact that Romelu was always very clear with us that in his mentality and his approach he was not highly motivated to come to a competitive situation at Chelsea. He wanted to play for Chelsea but clearly only as the first choice striker - and at a club of our dimension it’s very difficult to promise a player that status.

“That reduced, immediately, his desire to come to us. After that Everton came with an important offer and because we want to be inside the Financial Fair Play rules, you have to analyse these situations.”


Mourinho and Lukaku's relationship had clearly become poisonous last season and a parting of the ways was inevitable. However, our sympathies lie with the striker. Mourinho says he was "not highly motivated to come to a competitive situation" but what message did it send when Mourinho went out and bought the creaking Samuel Eto'o to add to the disastrous Fernando Torres? And what about when the ancient Didier Drogba returned this summer? No wonder Lukaku felt he had to leave, and Everton is the perfect place to prove Mourinho wrong.

View photo


Belgium's forward Romelu Lukaku speaks during a press conference at SESC Venda Nova, in Belo Horizonte


Asked whether he had spoken to Mourinho at all immediately before his departure he added: "No - I think he was busy with the game (against Vitesse Arnhem on Wednesday night). Chelsea is a big club and sometimes it is difficult for young players to come through. I want to have a good career and I didn't want to spend 10 years on the bench, I wanted to make the best out of every year.

"This is a club with a lot of ambition and the right place to be. You don't have to have regrets in football. Choices have to be made. Roberto Martinez will be one of the top managers in the world and for me to work under him now is the best thing that could happen for me."


"It is not just one of those important days for the season but it is a very significant day in the history of our football club. It is fair to say Romelu was our number one target to bring in and the pursuit was relentless but it had to be a record transfer and it is worth every single penny and effort we put behind it."


Andy Hunter, The Guardian: "Lukaku leaves Chelsea without scoring a goal, albeit for a significant profit. Chelsea paid Anderlecht an initial £11m rising to £18m in 2011 but few of the add-ons will have been activated. Chelsea had wanted to extend Lukaku’s contract, which was due to expire in 2016, to protect their investment had the forward impressed on another season-long loan and entered the final 12 months of his deal next summer. However, the striker refused to discuss an extension and insisted on being sold permanently, with his preference being for Everton despite interest from Atletico, Wolfsburg and Juventus, if the alternative was to remain on the fringes of Mourinho’s first-team plans. He took the unusual step of asking his former club, Anderlecht, for additional training after the World Cup to convince Chelsea of his determination to make an impact next season but the signing of Drogba effectively derailed that plan."

Jack Pitt-Brooke, The Independent: "Chelsea have made a profit on transfer fees for Lukaku and, while there might be some disappointment that he never became a first-team regular there, there was a sense at Chelsea that he put too much pressure on himself to succeed. The teenage Chelsea fan who idolised Didier Drogba was overcome by emotion when first shown around Stamford Bridge. This is the latest move of a productive summer for Everton. They have also secured midfielder Ross Barkley to a new long-term contract and signed the Bosnia international midfielder Muhamed Besic from Ferencvaros for £4m. Gareth Barry, who was on loan from Manchester City last season, has signed a three-year deal."

View comments (83)