Premier League • England

‘I have the feeling’ – Tuchel bats off key Chelsea probe but intriguingly namechecks Aston Villa

Thomas Tuchel Football Manager advert, Chelsea v Leicester in the Premier League

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has batted away questions about a potential recall for left-back Emerson Palmieri from his loan spell at Lyon.

The Blues have a strong squad in all areas of the pitch. As such, Tuchel insisted in his latest press conference that he is not urgently looking for new additions. However, reports have claimed that Chelsea are active in the market.

Indeed, it is cover at left-back they are looking for. Chelsea held transfer interest in wantaway Everton left-back Lucas Digne, but Aston Villa have taken charge of his future.

As such, the search to cover for the long-term injury to Ben Chilwell has led Chelsea to look in-house.

Italy international Palmieri moved to Lyon on loan for the campaign in the summer, but the Blues now reportedly want him to come back. They do not have a recall clause and so are supposedly considering a compensation agreement with the French club.

Asked about transfers, Tuchel said in his latest press conference: “We adapt daily to the situation but it has not changed for us.

“No news or updates. The areas are clear where we are looking in the market. There is no need to put any pressure on in public.”

Subsequently asked about Palmieri’s future, the manager said: “It is the same question and will be the same answer. There is no news and when there is, we will update you.”

Tuchel namechecks Aston Villa transfers

Thomas Tuchel on the Chelsea touchline

Intriguingly, Tuchel remarked that he is following Villa’s progress in the early stages of the transfer window.

Steven Gerrard’s side moved quickly last week to sign Barcelona midfielder Philippe Coutinho on loan until the end of the season.

What’s more, they lead the race for France international Digne, who wants a move away from Goodison Park.

Asked about how he thinks the transfer market will pan out in the next two weeks, he said: “I don’t know, actually. I have the feeling that Aston Villa is busy and finding good opportunities.

“Other teams are maybe happy with what we have. I am in general very happy with what we have. January is always a bit particular, let’s see.”

Chelsea, Tottenham semi-final the focus

Japhet Tanganga reacts to Tottenham conceding against Chelsea

Tuchel was speaking ahead of Chelsea’s Carabao Cup semi-final second leg away at Tottenham on Wednesday.

The Blues have a 2-0 lead from last week’s first leg, but their manager insisted that Antonio Conte’s men are not out of the tie yet.

“I would say we have no foot in the final,” Tuchel said. “Not half a foot or one foot, why lose energy thinking about this?

“Spurs are a very good team and a top, top coach so we need to be prepared. Maybe it is better not to think too much.

“We need to be fully aware of everything and adapt to the situation.”

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