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Tedesco on complicated Lukaku, Italy ability at Euro 2024 and Milan rumours

Belgium coach Domenico Tedesco opened up about the ‘complicated’ season of Romelu Lukaku, Italy’s chances at Euro 2024 and the rumours linking him with the Milan job.

Lukaku was at the centre of transfer market drama last summer after it emerged that he’d secretly been negotiating with Juventus behind Inter’s back, causing their talks with Chelsea to immediately collapse. A move to Turin never materialised and he ultimately joined the Giallorossi on loan.

On the other side of the coin, his compatriot Charles De Ketelaere has had an explosive season in Serie A, shining under Gian Piero Gasperini at Atalanta, scoring 11 goals and providing eight assists in 41 appearances across all competitions.

Tedesco opens up

Speaking on page 17 of today’s Gazzetta dello Sport, Tedesco first gave his thoughts on Lukaku’s season with Roma.

“Complicated. He arrived at Roma once the season had started, he was training with the Chelsea second team, he did all the preparation without knowing what would become of him. I was very happy when I learned that he would return to Italy.

“And in Rome he was immediately a protagonist, it’s tough for someone who came from a summer like that. When you sign Romelu the expectations are high, but he handles the pressure with incredible calm.”

He spoke about if De Ketelaere surprised him at Atalanta.

“Yes and no. No because I know well what Charles is capable of. Yes, because he came from a difficult season, in which he didn’t play and never found consistency.”

Tedesco commented on De Ketelaere’s struggles at Milan.

“San Siro is fantastic, but it can be a challenge for a new player at certain times. Maybe you start well, you find the rhythm and then it’s easy.

“But if you train for a whole week and then only have some moments to show how much you’re worth, it becomes tough. But if you sign for a team of a certain level, you also know what you’re up against.”

The Belgium coach gave his thoughts on Italy’s qualities ahead of Euro 2024.

“The Azzurri are always candidates for victory in any tournament. And they always will be, because they have an innate ability, they know how to win the games that count.”

Tedesco discussed the Italian influence on his work.

“A lot in managing the team. I treat my players as my parents treated me, and there is a lot of Italian in that.

“Tactically, however, I grew up in Stuttgart where dominant football, counter-pressing, quick verticalisations are practiced.

“But I learned wherever I’ve been, especially talking to the players. They have lots of ideas, you just have to listen to them.”

He was asked if he’d like to work in Serie A one day.

“Now I’m very focused on the European Championship and above all I don’t have a career plan in front of me, I never have, it all depends on the situations that arise. However, I won’t deny that I like Italian football, and that I grew up with it.”

Finally, Tedesco discussed the rumours linking him with Milan.

“I don’t comment on transfer rumours because there are too many, I wouldn’t know where to start and where to end.”

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