Thomas Tuchel is facing a second case of player unrest in quick succession after a report detailed why Christian Pulisic is unhappy at Chelsea.
Compared with the experiences of the lengthy list of former Chelsea managers under Roman Abramovich, Tuchel’s time at Stamford Bridge has been plain sailing. However, a report from the Daily Star has revealed a second bout of player unrest is on his plate.
The newspaper claims American forward Christian Pulisic is ‘not happy’ with the Blues.
His primary issue stems from his lack of regular game-time. The 23-year-old has missed significant time this season through contracting Covid-19 and sustaining an ankle injury.
However, when fit, he has found minutes on the pitch hard to come by. That is not a new phenomenon for the winger who has never quite lived up to his £57.8m price tag.
Pulisic remains the jewel of American football and scored for his country as the USA ran out 2-0 victors over Mexico on Saturday. But at Chelsea, stiff competition from the likes of Kai Havertz, Mason Mount, Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech has stunted his development.
As such, the Star claims he is looking like the ‘odd man out’ at present. Furthermore, they state he ‘expected to play a much bigger role’ when initially signed to be Eden Hazard’s successor.
Tentative interest from cash-strapped Barcelona is cited within the piece. Though the likelihood of Chelsea sanctioning a January exit is slim.
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The Blues are challenging on four fronts this season, making high quality squad depth essential. As such, the report suggests Tuchel could give Pulisic chances to shine in the next few weeks in what they describe as a ‘make or break’ period in his Chelsea career.
That report follows quickly on the heels of further player unrest regarding Antonio Rudiger.
The German centre-back’s contract situation remains in limbo with no progress made on his deal that expires next summer. A recent report claimed the club’s latest offer was treated as a ‘slap in the face’ by Rudiger after the financial aspects were revealed.
Abramovich eyes dream Barcelona signing
Meanwhile, Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich would be willing to sanction a €50m move for a Barcelona prodigy who may have other ideas, according to a report.
One midfielder that is now on their radar, according to El Nacional, is Barcelona talent Gavi. The 17-year-old has come into the Barca first team this season. Despite his young age, he has quickly risen to the challenge. He has been entrusted with 10 La Liga appearances, including seven starts, so far.
It has taken no time at all for Gavi to be linked with a transfer away from Barcelona. Amid their financial difficulties, any of their players face uncertain futures.
Therefore, El Nacional claim Chelsea are ready to make a €50m move for Gavi while his release clause of that price remains active. On such terms, he would be a “steal”, it is claimed.
Abramovich is that enthralled by Gavi that he would be willing to make him one of Chelsea’s highest paid players. He sees him as a “dream” signing and is convinced he will become a “world star”.
However, the report adds that Chelsea’s window of opportunity to take Gavi may be about to close. Barcelona are trying to extend his contract beyond its 2023 expiry date.
What’s more, Gavi has made it his own “priority” to renew at Camp Nou. In doing so, he could sign terms until 2026 that would see his release clause doubled automatically.