Totteham’s Antonio Conte admits ‘great affection’ for Chelsea star Romelu Lukaku

Tottenham manager Antonio Conte has admitted that he has “great affection” for under-fire Chelsea starRomelu Lukaku.

Lukaku has caused a stir this week after conducting an unauthorized interview with Italian media in whichhe said he was “not happy”at Chelsea.

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchelresponded by criticising himfor attracting “noise we don't need” in the build-up to Sunday’s crunch Premier League game against Liverpool.

According toThe Athletic, he has gone one step further by dropping Lukaku from the squad for the 4.30pm kick-off at Stamford Bridge.

Conte enjoyed a very successful relationship with Lukaku at Inter Milan, where they combined to win Serie A last season.

And he remains a fan of the Belgian, who netted 24 league goals under his management in the successful 2020/21 campaign before joining Chelsea for £97.5million.

”Lukaku words?” he said to Sky Sports after Spurs’ 1-0 win over Watford on Saturday.

“I feel great affection for him, but he’s a Chelsea player.”

Tottenham are likely to be busy in the January transfer window, with Conte keen to bolster his squad.

HAVE YOUR SAY! What should Chelsea do with Romelu Lukaku? Comment below.

Conte was initially reluctant to join the club in November due to his desire to have an influence over recruitment, so he has been promised January transfers.

“We need to talk about new signings, yes,” Conte said.

“When I was appointed, I was told that we would meet to talk about new signings. Now I have everything clear.”

Tottenham are beginning to find form under Conte, with Saturday’s win over Watford extending their unbeaten run to five matches.

But despite being happy with recent performances, Conte is certain of the need for fresh faces.

Don't miss a thing with our football updates!

Want to be on the ball with all of the latest football news?

Well then sign up for the brilliant Daily Star football email newsletter!

From the latest transfer news to the agenda-setting stories, get it all in your email inbox – don't miss a thing.

How do you sign up?

It only takes a matter of seconds.

Simply type your email address into the box at the top of this article and hit 'subscribe'.

And that's it, job done. You'll receive an email with all of the top news stories every single morning.

You can find out more information on our email newsletter on this link here.

"For sure we need to improve the quality of this squad,” he said this week.

“I was sure after seven days, 10 days about this. And then I make the evaluation on the players I can count on.

"This squad needs to improve before thinking about a place in UEFA [Champions League]. The league's level is very high.

“Now you are in the middle, you have to think to be something important, for this reason I ask for patience and time, because in this time the gap is very large.

“We need to work a lot and try to build and improve the quality of our squad."

Source: Read Full Article