Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel admits they need to get their rebuilding job underway.
“It is a very big task," said Tuchel. “We tried to replace with Haaland, but he is now gone!" Tuchel has already met with LA Dodgers tycoon Todd Boehly who is in the final stages of buying the club but the reality is the Government has yet to approve the hugely complex deal.
Chelsea are losing big players in Rudiger and Christensen. They want Sevilla's Jules Kounde but, for now, can only think about bringing back Armando Broja and Conor Gallagher from loan, says the Mirror.
While they may have allowed Cesar Azpiliciueta to leave and return to Spain in the past, now - having triggered a contract extension - they want to keep him for his leadership both on and off the pitch at a turbulent time for the club.
“We will be competitive, on which level we will see," said Tuchel. “We are rebuilding, not improving the squad. We are rebuilding. This is always challenging but we are up for the challenge. I don't know where we are from day one. What I can promise is that I will be here if I can promise that! I will be here with full energy and positive energy no matter what. We will still work for Chelsea and I refuse to think of negative scenarios.
“Normally at this time of the season you are contacting players, you are out, you get a feeling, a read, you have discussions, you have dialogue, you have feedback, you know who is committed, you find your targets, or you sign your players or you go from there to the next step. Because we did the step and now this is where we are. We had a core in the back three and we even have an issue with Thiago Silva. He is not Benjamin Button. It seems like he is, but he's not.
“He is getting older actually. it would have maybe been enough to find a natural replacement for this kind of position and keep everybody else. Suddenly we lose two, three, three-and a half players at the back and this is actually concerning. We are still in a dialogue with Azpi and at some point we are also selfish, we are not responsible to solve any other club's problems or to fulfil any other club's wishes.
“Given the fact we lose already key defenders, it's not the ideal scenario to think about losing Azpi, even if I can understand his personal point of view. It is difficult and it has been difficult for the club since the sanctions. Put it into perspective, there is no need to lose sleep after this season but there's a lot of ambition in us that is not satisfied."
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