Former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho’s past quotes on Romelu Lukaku have perhaps indicated how Thomas Tuchel could get the best out of him if he secures a £100million move this summer.
Lukaku has worked at two clubs with the Portuguese boss, with the latest being when they were at Manchester United together for just over a year before the now-Roma manager was sacked in December 2018.
With the Blues now actively advancing down the Belgian’s transfer path, former Blues boss Mourinho has already told Tuchel the way to maximise the 28-year-old’s potential If he does end up signing for the club.
football.london understands that the west Londoners have now turned their full attention to securing the services of Serie A’s top goalscorer in the 2020/21 campaign, and have so far had two bids turned down, with the latest reaching a reported £85m plus Marcos Alonso.
As negotiations ramble on, the 58-year-old has explained why his former striker has done so well during his time so far in Italy with the Milan-based club and what he needs to thrive.
“These two years at Inter Milan have given him the stature and the self-confidence that he didn’t have before,” Mourinho told the Times via the MEN in June. “At Chelsea, he was still a kid. At Manchester United, he was still developing. At Inter he became the top man.
“He became loved – a big love from the supporters, love from teammates, great relations with the coach.
“He’s a big guy, physically so strong, but there is also a kid inside who needs that love, needs that support, needs to feel important.”
The key factor of love and helping a player feel important, some may say, lacked when the two were at Chelsea together during the striker’s primitive years.
His exclusion and lack of game time offered to the Belgian during his initial stay from 2012 to 2014 resulted in the striker having to seek an early exit from the club, with Everton poaching the youngster at the time for a bargain fee of around £29m following a successful loan spell.
Their relationship did improve over the years, especially at Manchester United, where Mourinho relied heavily on the 28-year-old to lead the line for his side.
Lukaku scored a total of 42 goals in 96 appearances across all competitions for the Old Trafford-based club before completing his £73m Inter Milan move in 2019.
Current Blues manager Tuchel got his first real glimpse of the ex-Chelsea striker nearer the end of his time in Manchester United.
Belgium’s top scorer at Euro 2020 was at the double for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s United outfit, as they convincingly dispatched the German bosses Parisians at the time by three goals to one in the Champions League group stages of the 2018/19 campaign.