Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku has offered a direct apology to club supporters in order to ‘bury the hatchet’ after his controversial Skysports interview revealing his unhappiness at Stamford Bridge.
The club-record signing has already apologised internally at Chelsea and returned to training, but has now moved to address Blues fans personally.
‘To the fans I’m sorry for the upset that I’ve caused,’ Lukaku told Chelsea’s official club website. ‘You guys know the connection I have with this club since my teenage years, so I totally understand you guys being upset.
‘Obviously it’s up to me now to restore your trust, and I’ll do my best every day to show commitment on the training ground and in games to make sure we win games.
‘And also to the manager, my team-mates and the board, I apologise, because I think it was not the right moment, also.
‘And I want to move forward from this and make sure that we start winning football games and make sure that I start performing for the team in the best manner.’
Lukaku insisted his Sky Sport Italy interview was only ever designed as a respectful goodbye to Inter fans – but that he now understands the damage caused by his comments.
‘I think I should have been much clearer in my message to be honest,’ said Lukaku.
‘Because the interview was about saying goodbye to the Inter fans, it was not about trying to disrespect the (Chelsea) fans, the football club, the owner, my team-mates, the technical staff.
‘Because they made a lot of efforts for me to come back here and I wanted to come back here.
‘I was on a mission to come back since I left, so I totally understand the frustrations of the fans.
‘But now it’s on me to make sure my commitment is at 100 per cent and I will do that in every game.
‘My club was Chelsea, everybody knows that from being 10 or 11 years old I said I wanted to play for Chelsea. There were clearly images when I came on my school trip that I said I wanted to play for Chelsea.
‘So for me I came here when I was 18 it didn’t go so well. Now I’m back at 28 in the prime years of my career – I can’t really mess this up.’