Thomas Tuchel has insisted he will oversee a summer of “rebuilding” at Chelsea as the club copes with the impact of the impending sale.
Tuchel and Chelsea are currently blocked from securing existing players on new deals and making new signings. That is due to the temporary UK Government licence they are working under after owner Roman Abramovich was sanctioned.
The Government imposed the sanctions on Abramovich and Chelsea on march 10 after claiming to have proven his links to Russian president Vladimir Putin following the invasion of Ukraine.
US businessman Todd Boehly is in talks over a £4.25bn deal to buy the club, but the Government have yet to rubberstamp the terms.
On the pitch, the club are set to lose Antonio Rudiger to Real Madrid and Andreas Christensen to Barcelona on free transfers.
Marcos Alonso and Cesar Azpilicueta could also follow to Barca, as Tuchel watches on helplessly. And Chelsea’s situation means their domestic and European rivals have stolen a march on the Blues.
“You ask many times if we have a delay in approaching players and making plans; of course, a huge delay,” said Tuchel.
“We are affected by it, players are going out. We are rebuilding, not improving the squad. This is always challenging but we are up for the challenge.
“I don’t know where we are from day one. What I can promise is that I will be here – if I can promise that. I will be here with full energy and positive energy no matter what.
“We will still work for Chelsea and I refuse to think of negative scenarios. We will be competitive, on which level we will see.
Chelsea sale deadline
“On how the delay and sanctions will affect us, there is a risk.
“It will be very challenging to make up for the disadvantage, given the situation of the other two teams, City and Liverpool, who are already improving the squad and set one benchmark after the other in all aspects of the game.”
Tuchel met with Boehly last week and the pair are waiting for the Government to sign off the deal before they can plan for next season.
The club’s £1.5billion debt to the Chelsea owner remains the sticking point.
Abramovich always maintained he wanted to write off that debt. But the Government are worried he could renege on that agreement.
Downing Street must be 100% sure that Abramovich will not benefit from the sale.
Chelsea’s temporary Government licence expires on May 31, with a deal expected to be ratified by then.