Thomas Tuchel says he does not want this summer’s transfer window to be a “mood breaker” between himself and the Chelsea hierarchy.
The German head coach has surpassed all expectations since taking charge at Stamford Bridge at the end of January. He is set to guide the Blues to a top-four finish in the Premier League and will also lead his side out in FA Cup and Champions League finals.
It has been a remarkable coaching performance by Tuchel. One that he admits has been made easier by the fact he was parachuted in mid-season to replace Frank Lampard.
There were no debates held over transfers, no big decisions to be made over players in the squad. At Chelsea, Tuchel has been able to what he does best: coach. That will change come the end of the campaign.
Chelsea will look to strengthen their squad this summer. A number nine is top of their agenda – Erling Haaland and Romelu Lukaku are the club’s top targets – while a centre-back is also on the Blues’ wishlist.
There will be departures too. Emerson Palmieri is expected to depart and Marcos Alonso could move on if the right offer is made. Joint top scorer Tammy Abraham may also be allowed to leave, although Chelsea’s £40million price tag may not be easy for many clubs to match.
Calls will also have to be made over Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger. The two defenders have both thrived under Tuchel but will have only one year remaining on their contracts in the summer. Unless they sign new deals, Chelsea may have to let them go.
In his previous jobs at Mainz, Borussia Dortmund and Paris Saint-Germain, Tuchel has clashed with boards and sporting directors. A large part of his frustration at those clubs was down to decisions taken in the transfer market.
Chelsea do not have the best record in recent years of appeasing coaches. Antonio Conte became frustrated with the club’s inability or unwillingness to spend big to improve his squad.
Lampard, meanwhile, was also unhappy that the club didn’t bring in one of his top targets last season: Declan Rice.
Chelsea have yet to see the combative side of Tuchel. The results, performances and achievements of his side over the past four months have ensured that. And the German insists he will not look to break the emotional bond that has been formed at Stamford Bridge with arguments about potential signings this summer.
“Transfer periods can be real mood-breakers between moods and clubs and I don’t want to have this ever again,” Tuchel explained ahead of tonight’s game against Arsenal.
“The circumstances [of taking charge mid-season] had something of a simplicity. It was very tough to leave my family for this period of time but it meant a huge simplicity to my life here as a coach. It’s been only, only about coaching this team.
“No second thoughts about bringing someone in or letting someone go, it was crystal clear to step in and do what is needed and do what we do best: coaching.”
He continued: “I have zero ambition to ruin this atmosphere. I want it for myself, not for anybody else. Do we have some ideas on how to improve the squad? Yes, we do. Will we fight about it? No, we won’t. We will discuss things.
“First of all, we will finish the season because it’s not time to reflect now. I embrace the simplicity and hope we can continue to live like this on the job because it’s fun, very exciting, very pure.
“There are big challenges and big games constantly coming. This is what we love.”