Chelsea

When Chelsea will return for pre-season as Thomas Tuchel sets Todd Boehly big transfer demand

Football.London

Thomas Tuchel will not get to enjoy a holiday this summer. Not in the truest sense. Even if the Chelsea head coach is able to get away with his family, there will be countless calls to take, meetings to sit through, and big decisions to be made. He won’t be able to switch off, won’t be able to disconnect from the goings-on at Stamford Bridge.

In Tuchel’s own words, the Chelsea squad requires a rebuild. That will not be easy, especially as they are playing catch-up to their Premier League and European rivals. The sanctions placed upon current owner Roman Abramovich in March have impacted the Blues to the extent they’ve been unable to approach transfer targets or offer new contracts to their own players.

That will not change until Abramovich is no longer owner – and there is genuine hope the consortium led by U.S. billionaire Todd Boehly will officially be completed in the week ahead. From that moment on, Chelsea will need to act swiftly. In fact, Tuchel has demanded as much.

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“We have to be fast and smart,” the Chelsea head coach said. “At the moment, we have a huge disadvantage – but that’s not decisive yet. There is no need to make excuses, it is just the situation we are in, and we have to be as quick as possible. Right now, of course, it’s unsatisfying because our hands are tied, and we cannot act as we want.

“We have clear ideas for the profiles and characteristics of these players. But it’s not like we put a name on the list, and then we get the player. We have to convince the player, speak to their clubs, and convince ourselves this is the player [we need]. So there is normally a lot of work, and it will be the same to be competitive next season.”

There are obvious positions in the Chelsea squad in need of instant improvement. At centre-back, Chelsea will lose both Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen on free transfers. Cesar Azpilicueta, meanwhile, may be granted the opportunity to depart for Barcelona after ten years of service. Replacements will be needed.

Able deputies at wing-back for Reece James and Ben Chilwell are also required. In midfield, decisions have to be taken over the futures of Jorginho and N’Golo Kante, both of whom have just 12 months remaining on their contracts. And there are doubts over several of Chelsea’s attacking players.

An overhaul of the squad will not be easy in just a single summer; it may even be impossible. Yet Tuchel wants the Blues to handle their business efficiently in the transfer market to ensure that when the first batch of the first-team players reconvenes at Cobham for pre-season training on July 2, he can begin to shape a team in his image.

“It is a pre-season when we will have at least three-and-half or four weeks together,” Tuchel explained. “There are not a lot of players coming back at different times. It’s more or l…

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