THOMAS TUCHEL can finally plan more than a week in advance as Chelsea’s sale to Todd Boehly is now official.
But what the first-team coach sees when he looks up for the first time in three months may not be the best prospect.
The Government’s nod that a £4.25bn takeover by American Boehly can go through means certainty at last at Stamford Bridge.
Even if the club was silent yesterday, they are now looking ahead rather than in everyday life.
There are still loose ends to be tied, but few doubt this deal is about to die.
That means more work than ever for Tuchel, just when the humble German most deserves a break after nursing Chelsea through the most difficult 12 weeks of their 117-year history.
The UK government has handcuffed a club notorious for massive transfer spending and they remain banned from buying and selling, even while discussing new deals with existing players.
Having postponed his summer vacation to hold transatlantic planning meetings with Boehly, Tuchel faces the biggest challenge of his career as he attempts to revitalize Chelsea’s stagnant Premier League presence.
There’s the obvious rift at the heart of his defense after Antonio Rudiger bowed out.
English football’s last great hardman has left, stripping Chelsea of their physical intimidation in defence.
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Replacing a player with the reflexes of Muhammad Ali, the guts of John Terry and the pent-up aggression of a pensioner in a bus queue is a tall order.
Jules Kounde of Sevilla is the man he wants but even if the Frenchman hits the mark that’s only one spot taken.
Also gone is Andreas Christensen, less resilient than Rüdiger but very experienced after ten years at a club that places unrelenting demands on its staff.
Left-back Marcos Alonso wants out and captain Cesar Azpilicueta wouldn’t object to a move to Spain. The entire back line melts away.
Six weeks into the next season, veteran centre-back Thiago Silva turns 38.
Stylish as he is, the Brazilian sometimes looks like it. Tuchel has to make difficult decisions.
Boehly and the consortium he leads promise £1.75 billion in investments over the next decade in their manifesto.
Great as it sounds, £175million this summer might not be enough to catch up to the two teams who finished above Chelsea in the league this season – Manchester City and Liverpool.
Already, Tuchel fears it will be an “almost impossible” job to catch up, raising suspicions that things may get worse before they get better.
Had Antonio Conte been appointed a few weeks earlier at a now-resurgent Tottenham, Spurs would have clinched third at the expense of Tuchel.
Two losses in their last 13 games combined with Chelsea’s shaky form made it more awkward than it should have been.
And Conte is being paid £150m for a team that needs tinkering with rather than a full-scale reconstruction.
It is the heart of his team, where Tuchel also has to be operated on.
It may not be as time-sensitive as the defensive overhaul, but key midfielder Mason Mount needs to be tied to a new long-term contract.
Mount, 23, was crowned Chelsea’s player of the year for the second year in a row after last Sunday’s win against relegated Watford.
The colored blue is central to the future. But if nothing happens this summer, he will start next season with less than two years left on his contract.
Right-back Reece James has one year left as a mount, but Boehly’s heir counters can’t let that one slip either. James is considered one of the best of his position in the country.
There’s a feeling in the Chelsea dressing room that the club gave up too late to finalize Rudiger’s deal and that’s what made him leave.
Veteran playmaker Jorginho is also getting a headache and threatening another gap in midfield.
N’Golo Kante has been described by head coach Tuchel as Chelsea’s “Mbappe, de Bruyne and van Dijk”. But the France midfielder, who won the World Cup, has just had a patchy season with injuries and is 31 years old.
And don’t forget that Tuchel must also find a way to get the best out of £150m duo Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner.
Finances won’t just turn like a faucet once Boehly and majority shareholder Clearlake Capital get the keys to Stamford Bridge.
It could be weeks before Chelsea are able to make formal moves for new players. Tuchel is fair in the long term, but there are still concerns in the short term.
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/5421195/chelsea-boehly-transfer-tuchel-man-city-liverpool/ Chelsea boss Boehly faces immediate transfer headache as Tuchel worries ‘near impossible’ to catch Man City and Liverpool