Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has left Thomas Tuchel hanging over two Chelsea transfers, and the date of December 8th is critical to the Russian’s thinking, per a report.
The Blues have had to make full use of their squad after a spate of injuries hit hard in recent weeks. Two players who have been afforded significant minutes are Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner. However, according to Sport Witness, Tuchel and the Chelsea hierarchy are ‘open’ to either player’s exit.
Neither have performed as Chelsea fans would have expected given their stellar form for former clubs Ajax and RB Leipzig respectively.
That has led to speculation Barcelona could swoop in January, with their need for attacking reinforcements greater than ever.
Indeed, Sergio Aguero may have played his last game for the club after being diagnosed with a heart condition. Furthermore, Ousmane Dembele appears on course to leave after rejecting their latest contract offer.
Sport Witness (citing Spanish outlet Sport), now claim Werner or Ziyech would be viable transfers for Xavi’s side. Precisely what type of deal would be on the table isn’t stated. But given their well documented financial woes, loan moves would appear most likely.
However, Chelsea owner Abramovich has reportedly ‘paralysed negotiations’. The Russian is unwilling to strengthen a Champions League rival in the winter window.
Barcelona fate determined in December 8
Barcelona currently sit second in Group E, though could drop into the Europa League if defeated by Bayern Munich in their final group match. Benfica would also have to win their corresponding clash against Dynamo Kiev.
Those fixtures are due to take place on December 8 and the results could help determine Ziyech and Werner’s fates.
Negotiations will reportedly resume once Barcelona’s fate has been determined next week. Should they drop into the Europa League, Chelsea would apparently be more willing to send one or two of their stars to the Camp Nou.
For his part, Tuchel is stated to not view either Ziyech or Werner as ‘essential’ components of his squad. As such, all eyes will be on the Group E deciders on December 8.
Tuchel explains second Saul humbling
Meanwhile, Tuchel has explained the reasoning behind substituting Saul Niguez at half-time of Wednesday night’s narrow win at Watford.
Saul was also hauled off at half-time on his league debut. He appears to be struggling to adapt to the style of English football.
Speaking after the victory, Tuchel was asked about Saul’s substitution. He said: “I don’t know where he goes from this performance but he was on a yellow card so we had two options.
“We could have taken Marcos [Alonso] off who also had a yellow card and try Saul as a wing-back.
“I had this in my mind before the game, if something happened to Marcos. But I thought maybe it was not the right match to try things with new positions so it was [subbing] him to change the shape a little bit and have Thiago on the pitch with his organising.
“Having Trevoh [Chalobah] on the number six who is more physical – unfortunately Trevoh injured himself and we ended up with Ruben on the single six. But it was a tactical decision.”