Premier League • England

Tuchel overrules Granovskaia with decision on double deal for €100m stars

Jorginho Timo Werner Hakim Ziyech Chelsea

Thomas Tuchel has blocked the exits of Timo Werner and another Chelsea player Marina Granovskaia was willing to ship away to Barcelona, according to reports.

There have been several Chelsea players linked with Barcelona in recent weeks. For example, there have been claims that Cesar Azpilicueta is close to finding an agreement with the La Liga giants.

But there have also been rumours of interest from Barca in Chelsea teammates Werner and Hakim Ziyech.

Both arrived at Stamford Bridge in the Blues’ high-spending summer of 2020, costing a combined €100m. However, neither have reached their full potential in the capital.

Werner only scored six goals in his debut Premier League season. His struggles prompted the club to break their transfer record to bring back Romelu Lukaku in his position a few months ago.

Ziyech, for his part, netted just twice in the league last term. The attacking midfielder has been linked with a premature exit as well.

Both feature on Barcelona’s shortlist of potential new recruits for new coach Xavi. According to Sport, though, the Catalan side look likely to miss out on both.

Sport claim Chelsea director Granovskaia would have been willing to loan both players out. She would not want either of them to lose too much resale value by sitting on the sidelines at Stamford Bridge.

Magnificent Chelsea legend heading to Barcelona

Cesar Azpilicueta looks set to leave Chelsea at the end of the season, with Barcelona strongly linked.

But head coach Tuchel has a different idea and his power should not be underestimated, Sport claim. The German would prefer not to weaken his squad midway through the season.

Therefore, he wants to keep Werner and Ziyech at his disposal, even if neither have been particularly prominent this season. Werner has only started five league games and Ziyech has one fewer league start to his name.

Hakim Ziyech celebrating with Chelsea teammate Timo Werner, FA Cup semi final v Man City, April 2021

But squad depth is important for the European champions if they want to challenge on all fronts again. Therefore, they look set to block Barcelona’s attempts to snap the duo up.

Barcelona turn to Werner, Ziyech alternatives

Instead, Barca will have to shift their focus elsewhere. But their glance could still be cast towards the Premier League.

Sport reiterate that they are keen to sign Ferran Torres from Manchester City. The club have made no secret of their interest in the Spain forward.

In addition, the report says Edinson Cavani of Manchester United is an option for them at centre-forward. He is out of contract by the end of the season and no longer has as important a role.

Sport speculate that Barca could try to sign both players since they have different profiles. They do not want to pay more than €40m for Torres, though, which is lower than the figures City had in mind.

Cavani could sign a pre-contract agreement from the New Year, or they could try to negotiate a cut-price January deal.

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