Romelu Lukaku may have to leave Chelsea if he wants to make Belgium’s World Cup squad.
Manager Roberto Martinez has said his situation may need to be reassessed after the summer if he is still struggling at Stamford Bridge.
Since returning to the club in what was a club record, the £97.5million striker has found goals and playing time hard to come by.
Just five strikes in 20 Premier League appearances summed up his time in west London, and in their humility to Brentford he was named on the substitutes’ bench.
The relationship between Lukaku and manager Thomas Tuchel is far from harmonious, especially after the Belgian’s comments in December 2021.
The former Manchester United striker said he was unhappy with the situation at Chelsea and Tuchel’s ‘system’.
While Lukaku has said he won’t give up, his international manager’s statement could lead him to consider options this summer.
Martinez said: “We are talking about players, like Romelu, who have over 100 caps and are part of that group of players who know the national team inside out.
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“I’m not going to judge or assess a player’s condition until the summer because it’s not a normal situation.
“There are still seven months to go before the World Cup and you will probably go into the details of how a player feels when he gets closer to it than now.
“But there will be a lot of players who will change clubs or feel differently this summer.
“Romelu needs to be assessed on how he feels in September, the same as Eden Hazard and a few others.
“But he is one of the players for whom the summer could be a big moment for their career.”
The former Wigan Athletic manager also discussed his connection to the striker and insisted he was ‘committed’ to Chelsea and in a ‘right place’.
“We are still talking. I have a very close relationship with all my players. I would never tell a player what to do, but we always share our ideas.
“At the moment, Romelu is well placed. He is so committed.
“He was delighted to win the Club World Cup and the next step is to finish the season strong with Chelsea and make sure he can feel very important.”
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