Chelsea attacking duo Romelu Lukaku and Hakim Ziyech have seemingly started off their international break in style as both were spotted watching an NBA match amid the big Blues takeover decision on the horizon.
With bids for the Roman Abramovich ran club now in and being dealt with by the Raine Group, all the players like the supporters are anxiously and eagerly anticipating the final decision which could still be someway off yet. The likes of Todd Boehly’s consortium, the Ricketts Family’s collaboration with Ken Griffin, and Nick Candy are the so called front runners in the race but don’t rule out the likes of the Saudi Media Group yet amongst a few others who could make the 3-4 consortia shortlist which could be released anytime soon.
Whilst the Raine Group prepare for the next stage of the whole takeover process, manager Thomas Tuchel and co will be relieved to be on a much needed international break following a tough run of fixtures – something they have answered in emphatic style with six wins on the bounce. Nevertheless, a break from the limelight is something Tuchel embraced when quizzed ahead of Middlesbrough.
“There will be long walks in the forest around here [with my dog] which is beautiful,” he said. “Hopefully, the weather stays like this (sunshine). I’ll be doing the normal stuff: taking care of the children, taking them to school, picking them up. Being around them is the best distraction I can have.
“I learned to do this [disconnect]. I had to. I found it very hard in the beginning as a professional coach. I struggled a lot with it, to not be able to switch off, to not think about it night and day. It is always like this. If you love something so much and have a passion for football, and then it becomes your profession, it is not at five or six o’clock that you leave and drive home and tomorrow you’re finished.
“There are still games on, thoughts about players and what to do. It is sometimes still like it but I have trained myself that it is not good to stay in the process and in the mind and thinking process too long. Everybody needs to disconnect, breathe and see clearer.
“I had to learn it for myself and I am still training myself. I need to be disciplined in it and like I said my dogs and kids help as a natural source of inspiration and enjoyment to calm down. You have to take care of yourself to not get totally lost in it.” The players have already seemingly stepped from what is going on in SW6 and the two match winners against Chris Wilder’s side, Lukaku and Ziyech, have shown how their friendship has blossomed since their Brighton encounter earlier on in the season.
Both have not been required to play international football this week with the club record man one of many stars left out of Roberto Martinez’ youthful Belgium side who have Ireland and Burkina Faso friendlies on their agenda. Meanwhile, despite a plea to return to north Africa to represent his country, the former Ajax man politely declined with the relationship with Morocco well and truly over.
Consequently, both have spent the last few days travelling across the Atlantic to America since the FA Cup win to watch the basketball match in the NBA between the Brooklyn Nets and their opponents Utah Jazz. The aforementioned duo were treated to a very high scoring contest with the Nets coming out 114-106 victors on the night and their social media team had caught a snap of the pair enjoying their time during proceedings and unwinding in their own way amid the Chelsea takeover fiasco.