Thomas Tuchel will get little rest this summer as Chelsea’s takeover means he can get to work on a squad rebuild, with PSG and Man City stars possible targets
No shorts, no sun cream and sun lounger for Thomas Tuchel this summer.
Instead a scramble for players as a Premier League title arms race begins in earnest ahead of next season. Chelsea’s Champions League winning head coach has had to sit and suffer this season as Manchester City and Liverpool’s superior squad depth left the Blues choking in their dust.
Now that Todd Boelhy has pretty much been given the green light from the government and the Premier League to assume control from Roman Abramovich, Tuchel intends to change all that. He has to with Tottenham not messing around. Antonio Conte is expected to have as much as £250million to spend once his dead wood is offloaded.
Erik ten Hag at Manchester United could have even more for his summer surgery. So Tuchel, aided by the club’s chief negotiator, Marina Granovskaia, has to get to work. He already knows the players he wants. He explained as much after last Sunday’s home win over Watford. In his favour too is the fact that Boelhy has empowered him to do things his way – just as Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp have done at their respective clubs. Just as Conte will do at Spurs. Real businessmen have the confidence to allow talented operators to do what they do best.
Only formalities remain before sanctions are lifted this week and Chelsea can start on a new Blueprint ahead of next season. Tuchel has already scrapped his plans for a summer holiday, despite the shorter than usual close season ahead of the Qatar World Cup. There are players to buy. Holes in his back line to fill with Antonio Rudiger off the Real Madrid, Cesar Azpilicueta heading to Barcelona with Andreas Christensen and the possibility of Marcos Alonso joining them. Question marks persist over the futures of Jorginho and N’golo Kante – with one year left on their contracts and Declan Rice among the options for a long-term successor.
Christian Pulisic, Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech all want to play more regularly – as does Romelu Lukaku. And then there are clubs to fend off. Barcelona have real admiration for Chelsea’s home grown England midfielder Mason Mount. No wonder there are plans to hand the 23-year-old a lucrative new contract to smash the current £80,000-a-week wage he is on.
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So you can understand why Tuchel doesn’t want a break. Every day counts. Seville centre-back Jules Kounde is a long-time target but Spurs could now offer him Champions League football and an elite coach in Conte to work with. Manchester United are rivaling Chelsea’s admiration for Villareal centre-back Pau Torres. A new home must surely be found for Lukaku after a disappointing season for both parties. Napoli’s much sought after Nigerian forward Victor Osimhen, 23, is on record as admitting he’d love to emulate Chelsea legend Didier Drogba.
A potentially fascinating move for Raheem Sterling has been mooted with no new deal on the horizon for him at Manchester City and just a year left on his contract. And most fascinatingly of all, the warmth of Brazilian superstar Neymar’s relationship with former boss Tuchel has been reheated; partly courtesy of respectful comments made by the 30-year-old in 2019, but mostly following the news that PSG are willing to let Neymar leave this summer for the right price.
Thing is, he has been a bit-part player alongside Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi this season with just 13 goals in 28 games. There is better value out there – Tuchel is just waiting for the green light to go out and grab it.