Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel makes big Todd Boehly demand to keep Blues ‘competitive’
In pictures: Chelsea v Watford
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Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has warned incoming owner Todd Boehly that the Blues require a major ‘rebuild’ in order to compete for the Premier League’s top four next season. Tuchel’s side fought off plenty of off-field troubles to secure Champions League qualification this term.
Prospective owner Boehly is expected to complete his purchase in the coming days and was in attendance for Chelsea’s final game of the season against Watford. The West Londoners defeated the relegated Hornets 2-1 thanks to a late Ross Barkley strike.
Due to the sanctions imposed on owner Roman Abramovich and the ‘special licence’ under which Chelsea continue to operate, the club is still unable to offer contracts or sign new players. That has partly led to the departures of defenders Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen.
And Tuchel has warned that Chelsea will only stay competitive next season if they complete a rebuild of his squad. His side finished third in the top-flight but were almost 20 points short of Manchester City and Liverpool.
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The German said after his side beat Watford: “We will miss Toni, and we will miss Andreas Christensen and a lot of guys maybe. We have to start rebuilding to be competitive.”
Tuchel has repeatedly insisted that he has his own plays ahead of the transfer window but has not been able to put them across. The 48-year-old may finally get those discussions if Boehly’s consortium is given the green-light to complete its near-£3billion takeover.
He added: “We have at the moment a huge disadvantage – that’s not decisive yet. There is no need to make excuses now, it is just the situation we are in and we have to be as quick as possible. Right now, of course, it is unsatisfying because our hands are tied and we cannot act as we want.
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“We have clear ideas for the profiles and characteristics of these players [we want to sign]. It is not like you put a name on the list and then you get the player.
“You have to convince the player, you have to speak to other clubs and convince yourself this is the player. So there is normally a lot of work and it will be the same to be competitive next season, while, like everybody else, tries to close the gap to us, while the two top teams are what they are – a benchmark of consistency.
“This is the situation and from there we do our very best to be competitive because this is what we want to be.”
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