At a news conference in Belgium today, Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku addressed claims of discord between himself and manager Jose Mourinho. The Belgian scoring machine says that his relationship with Mourinho is perfect, which contradicts the reports which surfaced just after the 1-0 FA Cup loss to Chelsea.
Mourinho seemed to blame Lukaku in part for the defeat, questioning his willingness to overcome the pain barrier.
“When a player tells you he is not ready to start, then the question is how many minutes do you think you can play,” said the Portuguese. “How can I convince a player who tells me he is not ready to play?”
The Daily Mail also reported then that Mourinho felt Lukaku, and fellow Belgian national team member Marouane Fellaini, were holding themselves back during the FA Cup in order to make sure they weren’t hurt for the upcoming World Cup.
Lukaku said there was no issue between himself and Mourinho, and that he didn’t look ready in the week of training leading up to the trophy game. He also added that it was the manager’s decision to start Marcus Rashford in his place.
“I didn’t look good in training at all. So it was a difficult situation. Obviously, me and the manager had a conversation and he’s the one that made decision,” United’s leading scorer said. “But at the end of the day we had a conversation after the game where we were both disappointed that we lost.”
“I said to him I’m looking forward for next season to see the team that he’s going to prepare for next year to hopefully challenge Manchester City.
“Everybody is now thinking that me and the manager have a big issue or something, but it’s not like that. Me and the manager have a perfect relationship, so we had a little chat after the game and everything is all clear.”
Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net and TheBank.News, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times, NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, currently contributes regularly to WGN CLTV and the Tribune company’s blogging community Chicago Now.
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