Premier League • England

Tuchel crystal clear on becoming next Man Utd manager; knows ‘what’s coming’ after Chelsea draw Real

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel left no room for manoeuvre when asked about becoming the next Man Utd manager, and reacted to drawing Real Madrid in the Champions League.

Chelsea’s off-field turmoil has left the club facing an uncertain future on multiple fronts. From an on-pitch perspective, Chelsea are no longer allowed to extend their players’ contracts or complete transfers for new signings for the time being.

With the likes of Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen and Cesar Azpilicueta all out of contract in the summer, Chelsea’s squad could be severely weakened next season.

That’s led to speculation Chelsea’s most prized asset – Thomas Tuchel – could be a man in demand. Indeed, links with the upcoming vacancy at Old Trafford have emerged.

However, when speaking in his Friday press conference, Tuchel reaffirmed his commitment to Chelsea when asked about managing Man Utd.

“Do you feel me less committed or involved with [Chelsea]? Absolutely not,” said the German.

“I love to work for Chelsea and this club has everything it needs to make me happy.”

Manchester United target Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel

Manchester United need a new manager and have not ruled out a move for Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel

The press conference took place minutes after Chelsea were drawn to face Real Madrid in the quarter finals of the Champions League.

Los Blancos completed a remarkable comeback from a two-goal aggregate deficit to dump PSG out in the Round of 16. Tuchel is fully aware of the enormous challenge his side will face against the experienced campaigners.

“Tough one,” said Tuchel of the draw. “The challenge can not be much higher than playing the second leg in the Bernabeu with spectators.

“It’s a big challenge but there is bit excitement around this match and fixture. We know what’s coming. It will be an exciting match and a tough challenge.

“It’s nice to play a European team and maybe not at this kind of stage a team you’ve played so many times in domestic competitions.”

Chelsea could block Reece James call-up – Tuchel

Tuchel was then probed on Reece James’ recent England call-up. The call came despite the full-back having played just one league match in 2022 after twice being sidelined through injury.

“Yes and no,” said Tuchel when asked if he understood Gareth Southgate’s selection. “I would also call Reece up no matter what if I was the head coach of the England team. That’s why I am not surprised.

“Yesterday, he was not match-ready. Let’s see what happens tomorrow. He comes after nine weeks of injury and we will test if he can do the full match tomorrow. If not, it makes no sense that he should go.”

Finally, Tuchel was asked if Chelsea’s off-field turmoil could see them fall behind Man City and Liverpool in the transfer market.

“I don’t focus on the problem so much,” added the Blues boss.

“Maybe it will come this way, a player decides something he wouldn’t have decided if the situation is different.

“I still believe Chelsea will stay strong, hopefully football-first, a team-club. I have trust and our belief to adapt and we will find solutions.”

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