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ESPN FC Posted by ESPN staff
Jul 31, 2014

Mourinho questions Lukaku mentality

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho says that Romelu Lukaku did not have the motivation to fight for his place at Chelsea.

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has claimed Romelu Lukaku "was not highly motivated" after selling the striker to Everton for 28 million pounds.

- Macintosh: Lukaku deal shows progress
- O'Farrell: Statement of intent

Lukaku, 21, made the permanent move to Goodison Park on Wednesday having spent last season on loan there, smashing the club's previous record transfer fee in the process.

The Belgium international joined Chelsea from Anderlecht for 18 million pounds in August 2011, but spent just one season at the club -- in which he started only one league match and did not score a goal -- before being loaned out firstly to West Bromwich Albion and then Everton.

Lukaku scored 17 goals in 35 Premier League appearances for West Brom in the 2012-13 season, and netted another 15 for Everton last term.

Despite that record, Mourinho claimed the striker's inability to compete with Fernando Torres, the returning Didier Drogba -- the player to whom Lukaku drew comparisons -- and fellow summer signing Diego Costa for a starting place at Chelsea led to his permanent departure.

"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," Mourinho told reporters following his side's 3-1 win in a preseason friendly at Vitesse Arnhem.

"He wanted to play for Chelsea but clearly as the first choice striker which in club of our dimension very difficult to promise to a player that status. That reduced, immediately, his desire to come to us.

"After that Everton came with an important offer and as I always say, because it's the reality of our club and we want to do things well and be inside the financial fair play rules (FFP), it's always in the thoughts of the board, when you have the chance to make some movement that create positive impact on FFP we always analyse these situations."

Lukaku said he had left Chelsea without speaking to Mourinho.

"I spoke with my agent and then from that moment on I left it up to him as I was on holiday," he said about the move to Everton. "I made my decision and then didn't speak too much about it."

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].

"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 it's the right place to be. You don't have to have regrets in football. Choices have to be made.

"[Everton manager] 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."

Key European club fixtures

French Ligue 1 -- Aug. 8
FA Community Shield: Manchester City vs. Arsenal -- Aug. 10
German Super Cup: Borussia Dortmund vs. Bayern Munich -- Aug. 13
English Premier League -- Aug. 16
Spanish Super Cup: Real Madrid vs. Atletico Madrid -- Aug. 19 and 22
Spanish La Liga/German Bundesliga -- Aug. 23
Italian Serie A -- Aug. 30

Despite selling Lukaku, Mourinho wished the striker the best for the rest of his career.

"The important thing is that he's happy and things work well for him, he's a good kid and has his way of thinking and organising his career project," the Portuguese said. "All I can do is wish him well. He deserves luck and to be happy."

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