Thomas Tuchel will not get to enjoy a holiday this summer. Not in the truest sense. Even if the Chelsea head coach is able to get away with his family, there will be countless calls to take, meetings to sit through, and big decisions to be made. He won’t be able to switch off, he won’t be able to disconnect from the goings-on at Stamford Bridge.
In Tuchel’s own words, the Chelsea squad requires a rebuild. That will not be easy, especially as they are playing catch-up to their Premier League and European rivals. The sanctions placed upon current owner Roman Abramovich in March have impacted the Blues to the extent they’ve been unable to approach transfer targets or offer new contracts to their own players.
That will not change until Abramovich is no longer owner – and there is genuine hope the consortium led by US billionaire Todd Boehly will be officially completed in the week ahead. From that moment on, Chelsea will need to act swiftly. In fact, Tuchel has demanded as much.
READ MORE: Thiago Silva makes Chelsea contract admission as dream inspired by AC Milan and PSG is revealed
“We have to be fast and smart,” the Chelsea head coach said. “At the moment, we have a huge disadvantage – but that’s not decisive yet. There is no need to make excuses, it is just the situation we are in, and we have to be as quick as possible. Right now, of course, it’s unsatisfying because our hands are tied, and we can not act as we want.
“We have clear ideas for the profiles and characteristics of these players. But it’s not like we put a name on the list, and then we get the player. We have to convince the player, speak to their clubs, and convince ourselves this is the player [we need]. So there is normally a lot of work, and it will be the same to be competitive next season. “
There are obvious positions in the Chelsea squad in need of instant improvement. At center-back, Chelsea will lose both Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen on free transfers. Cesar Azpilicueta, meanwhile, may be granted the opportunity to depart for Barcelona after ten years of service. Replacements will be needed.
Able deputies at wing-back for Reece James and Ben Chilwell are also required. In midfield, decisions have to be taken over the futures of Jorginho and N’Golo Kante, both of whom have just 12 months remaining on their contracts. And there are doubts over several of Chelsea’s attacking players.
An overhaul of the squad will not be easy in just a single summer; it may even be impossible. Yet Tuchel wants the Blues to handle their business efficiently in the transfer market to ensure that when the first batch of first-team players reconvenes at Cobham for pre-season training on July 2, he can begin to shape a team in his image.
“It’s a pre-season when we will have at least three-and-a half or four weeks together,” Tuchel explained. “There are not a lot of players coming back at different times. It’s more or less two groups. We then have to be fast to adapt to the qualities and the personalities of the new guys. But first of all, we need to be able to sign players, be smart about who we sign, and be on point. “
The Chelsea players are not representing their countries over the next three weeks, which will return on July 2. The second group – the senior internationals – are expected to arrive on July 9 and will then fly out to the United States with the rest of the squad for the Blues’ pre-season tour.
Chelsea are understood to be undertaking a week-long training camp in Los Angeles before they fly to Las Vegas to take on Club America on July 16. A match in Charlotte, North Carolina, against Charlotte FC follows four days before the Blues, then take on Premier League rivals Arsenal in Orlando on July 23.