Thomas Tuchel talked about Erling Haaland and Upamecano moves

The Blues have been linked with moves for both Bundesliga-based players. Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel kept his cards close to his chest when asked about his team’s supposed interest in Dayot Upamecano and Erling Haaland.

Upamecano is among the most in-demand players in Europe, with Liverpool, Manchester United and Bayern Munich all said to be rivaling Chelsea for his signature.

The RB Leipzig defender will be available for just £38m when a clause in his contract kicks in this summer.

Haaland could also be on the move if Borussia Dortmund fail to qualify for the Champions League this season.

Chelsea were Europe’s biggest spenders last summer and Roman Abramovich is expected to dip into his pocket again ahead of next term.

But Tuchel refused to be drawn on speculation linking the club with Upamecano and Haaland.

“I am also always a fan and interested in what is going on,” he said. “But now is February. There is a long way to go. As you know me or maybe get to know me better, I will not talk about other players publicly when they are under contract.

“This is the kind of respect we show to them but show first of all to our players. We think about our central defenders and our strikers first and we push them to the limits. Everything else will be decided behind closed doors.”

Chelsea may first need to raise some funds through player sales if they are to spend big again this summer.

N’Golo Kante is one player who has been linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge, but Tuchel insists the Frenchman is part of his plans.

Kante is expected to make his first start of the Tuchel era when Chelsea face Barnsley in the fifth round of the FA Cup on Thursday.

“This is very easy because I think N’Golo fits into every manager’s plans on the planet.

“I was desperate to have him in my teams. He is a Chelsea player, a big Chelsea player and one of the best midfielders in the world. Now I am so lucky to have him in my squad. I am so lucky that he is back again.

“When you look at his performances coming back from injury – we put him on the pitch against Tottenham [as a substitute] with no minutes before which was really difficult – he just did what he always does. He helped everybody around him on the pitch with his support, mentality and his quality.

“And if you see the step that he took between the Tottenham match, OK, in training you didn’t see, but in the 20 minutes against Sheffield United was a huge performance when we switched to a three in the midfield.

“This was very important to escape the pressure and be in control of the game again. I am very, very impressed. I know him for many years, we know him very well because we came from a French club, so we were very impressed on television.

“But to see the guy live, to see how he works, how humble he is and what quality he gives to this team, it is a gift to be his coach. I am super happy.

“He will start tomorrow. For me his best position is a double six. He can play single six but his strength is also to have a kind of freedom in his game.”


Connect with Futball Surgery





Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *