Thomas Tuchel has insisted the Chelsea squad only need a facelift for next season, ahead of a Manchester United side which Ralf Rangnick says needs ‘open heart surgery’ .
Blues manager Tuchel will face mentor Rangnick at Old Trafford in Thursday’s Premier League clash, adamant that Chelsea don’t need the emergency operation the Red Devils are talking about.
While Rangnick believes new United boss Erik Ten Hag will need to breathe new life into the ranks at Old Trafford, Tuchel still remains convinced that Chelsea’s needs are only superficial.
Chelsea have lost ground to their rivals in terms of recruitment and retention for the next term due to the club’s constraints given the UK government’s sanctions of owner Roman Abramovich.
Talisman defender Antonio Rudiger will leave for Real Madrid on a free transfer this summer, with fellow centre-back Andreas Christensen also heading to Barcelona.
Asked about Chelsea’s needs this summer in light of Rangnick’s comments on the heart operation, Tuchel replied: “Cosmetic surgery. I would be less worried if we still had the same property, if we could rely on our structure.
“As this is also in question, we are not worried, but aware of the danger that the situation may be a little more complex.
“And it can be quite complex if you lose a player like Toni, and maybe you lose another player like Andreas with the kind of quality, and both free.
“It’s quite demanding these days in football to lose that kind of quality, in a back three to lose two key players for free.
“It can be quite demanding even if everything else remains in place. So with that in question, it can be a very, very demanding summer.
“I don’t know if surgery is the right term, but I just want to be positive about it and stick to the things we can influence.”
Chelsea remain on track to have new owners in place by the end of May, with Todd Boehly, Sir Martin Broughton and Steve Pagliuca the latest consortium bidders for the Blues.
The Raine Group could select their preferred bidder for Chelsea by the end of this week, which would then leave it to the government to issue a new license for the sale to go through.
Abramovich put Chelsea up for sale on March 2, amid Russia’s continued invasion of Ukraine.
The 55-year-old was then sanctioned by the British government on March 10, with Downing Street claiming to have proven links between the Russian-Israeli billionaire and Vladimir Putin.
Tuchel is confident of fielding a competitive Chelsea side next season whatever happens this summer, but conceded the Blues won’t have it easy in the market.
“It won’t be easier; we wanted to compete and you could see that we couldn’t compete in the long term, we could compete in periods, we can compete in direct matches,” Tuchel said.
“We struggled and, as you know, I was so happy with the structure the club provides and the mentality that Chelsea provide.
“That’s always been, for me, the basis for firmly and sincerely believing ‘OK, we’re going to push and keep pushing.’
“With that now being challenged, it becomes more demanding, not difficult because I don’t know what’s coming, so let’s see.
“But the main thing for me is that we at least keep the mentality in the building and in the club, the competitive mentality that has been in place for more than a decade. It’s a bit worrying and I hope that we can meet there.
“The situation is not ideal. This is the situation. It would be difficult enough with a stable situation. We don’t have that – so everyone is doing it, at least I know, for the first time.
“And we’re trying to show our commitment, our passion for it and maybe it’s very important for me to get that message across: I’m committed, I’m looking forward to it and I’m passionate about it.
“And as soon as we can act, we will try to act and turn the situation around and make it a disadvantage maybe an advantage. However, I don’t have the solution at the moment, but we will try to stay positive on this subject.”