Thomas Tuchel: If Manchester United needs open heart surgery, Chelsea just need a facelift


Thomas Tuchel insisted ChelseaThe Manchester United squad just needs a facelift for next season before taking on a Manchester United side Ralf Rangnick says will require ‘open-heart surgery’.

Lues manager Tuchel will face mentor Rangnick in Thursday’s Premier League clash at Old Trafford and is adamant Chelsea do not need the emergency surgery the Red Devils are talking about.

While Rangnick believes new United boss Erik Ten Hag needs to breathe new life into the ranks of Old Trafford, Tuchel remains confident Chelsea’s needs are only skin deep.

Chelsea have lost ground to their rivals in recruiting and retention for the next term due to the club’s restrictions imposed by owner Roman Abramovich’s UK government sanctions.

Talisman defender Antonio Rüdiger will join Real Madrid on a free transfer this summer, while fellow centre-back Andreas Christensen also joins Barcelona.

Asked what Chelsea need given Rangnick’s comments about heart surgery this summer, Tuchel replied: “Plastic surgery. I would be less concerned if we still had the same owners if we could rely on our structure.

“As this is also in question, we are not concerned but aware of the risk that the situation may become a little more complex.

“And it can be complex enough when you lose a player like Toni and maybe lose another player like Andreas with the kind of quality and both are free.

“It’s challenging enough in football these days to lose that kind of quality, in a back three two key players lose for free.

“It can be exhausting enough even if everything else stays in place. So with that in mind, it can be a very, very challenging summer.

“I don’t know if surgery is the right term for it, but I just want to be positive about it and stick to the things that we can influence.”

Chelsea remains on track to have new owners by the end of May, with Todd Boehly, Martin Broughton and Steve Pagliuca being the remaining consortium bidders for the Blues.

The Raine Group could select their preferred bidder for Chelsea by the end of this week, who would then leave it up to the UK government to issue a new license to complete the sale.

Abramovich put Chelsea up for sale on March 2 amid Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

The 55-year-old was then sanctioned by the UK government on March 10, with Downing Street claiming 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 an easy time in the market.

“It doesn’t get any easier, we wanted to keep up and you could see that we can’t keep up in the long run, we can keep up in periods, we can keep up in direct games,” said Tuchel.

“We struggled and as you know I was so happy with the structure that the club offers and the mentality that Chelsea offers.

“That was always the basis for me to firmly and truly believe, ‘OK, we’re going to push and keep pushing.’

“Now that this is being challenged it’s going to be more challenging not difficult because I don’t know what’s coming so we’ll see.

“But the most important thing for me is that we keep the mentality, at least in the building and at the club, the competitive mentality that has been installed over more than a decade. It’s a bit worrying and hopefully we can find our way.

“The situation is not ideal. This is the situation. With a stable situation, it would be challenging enough. We don’t have that – so everyone, at least I know, is doing it for the first time.”

“And we’re trying to show our commitment, our passion for it, and that’s maybe 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 things around and maybe turn a disadvantage into an advantage. However, I don’t have a solution at the moment, but we will try to stay positive.” Thomas Tuchel: If Manchester United needs open heart surgery, Chelsea just need a facelift

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