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Belgium Manager Martinez Advises Lukaku to Leave Chelsea Ahead of FIFA World Cup

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By Martin Graham | 8th Apr 2022

Belgium manager Roberto Martinez has advised striker Romelu Lukaku to leave Chelsea in order to find himself ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

Lukaku rejoined Chelsea from Internazionale after a decade away for a £98 million fee, and was expected to lead the club into a new era.

The return of the big striker has not gone as planned, however, and the club are said to be looking for an exit for Lukaku, who has a contract with them until 2026.

On the international front, Lukaku has continued to deliver the goods for Belgium and Martinez, who managed Lukaku while both were still at Everton in the Premier League, has now suggested that the Scudetto winner may have to leave Chelsea to rediscover himself.

The 2022 World Cup is widely regarded as the last opportunity for Belgium’s “golden generation”, headlined by Lukaku, Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard to make any kind of history.

Martinez relies on Lukaku a lot in the Belgium national team set-up and wants his striker firing on all cylinders in Qatar. 

“We are talking about players, like Romelu, who have got over 100 caps and are part of this group of players who know the national team inside out,” the Spaniard told English outlet The Sun.

“I’m not going to judge or assess the condition of any player until after the summer because it is not a normal situation.

“It is still seven months to the World Cup and probably you will go into the details of how a player feels when it gets closer to it than now.

“But there will be a lot of players who change clubs or are going to feel in a different way in the summer.

“Romelu needs to be assessed on how he feels in September, the same way Eden Hazard does and some others.

“But he is one of the players for whom the summer could be a big moment for their careers.”

Martinez also talked about his relationship with Lukaku and how the striker had told him that he is willing to remain at Stamford Bridge to fight for a place in the team.

Lukaku has been a life-ling Chelsea fan and the return is one of his biggest dreams. Martinez claims that Lukaku is not willing to give the dream up just yet.

“We always speak. I have a very close relationship with all my players. I would never tell a player what to do but we always share thoughts,” Martinez said.

“At the moment Romelu is in a good place. He is so committed.

“He was delighted to win the Club World Cup and the next step is to finish the season strong with Chelsea and make sure he can feel very important.”

Meanwhile, Internazionale have reportedly given up on the idea of taking Lukaku back to the San Siro on a permanent transfer.

With Chelsea willing to let the 28-year-old leave at the end of the season, Lukaku’s former club Inter were reportedly lining up to get their man back.

La Gazzetta dello Sport now reports that the heads of the Italian club have abandoned that wish following Lukaku’s failure to justify the huge sum paid for him to them last season by Chelsea.

Their volatile financial situation has also led to them cooling their interest in Lukaku who will cost not less than £50 million as Chelsea are ready to cut their losses on the Belgian.

La Gazzetta dello Sport also reports that a loan move for the player has not been ruled out by the powers that be at Inter.

Martin Graham is an MFF sports writer

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