Chelsea: Tuchel reacts to win over Newcastle
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Chelsea may now have an opportunity to deliver Thomas Tuchel an early summer transfer following news that Dayot Upamecano will join Bayern Munich in the summer. The Blues are well stocked in the centre of defence, but there hasn’t been a regular partnership this season.
Thiago Silva is one of the first names on the teamsheet at Stamford Bridge, but both Frank Lampard and now Tuchel have had to manage his minutes.
Under Lampard, Kurt Zouma was the preferred option to partner Silva with Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen battling for regular game time.
But the roles have been reversed since Tuchel came in with Rudiger starting Chelsea’s last seven league matches.
They also have Fikayo Tomori out on loan with AC Milan who is set to return in the summer should the Italian side choose not to active their option to buy.
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Despite the number of options available to Chelsea in defence, reports have suggested that signing a new centre-back this summer remains a top priority.
Upamecano was said to have been top of their wishlist with the 22-year-old having a £37million release clause.
But they’ve now got to look elsewhere after Bayern Munich muscled in to agree a deal in principle with RB Leipzig to sign Upamecano ahead of the summer transfer window.
According to Goal, Chelsea will likely have been very disappointed as they held a “very serious” interest in signing Upamecano.
However, the report points out how Upamecano’s move to Bayern could well be a blessing in disguise.
With Upamecano joining the Bundesliga giants, Bayern may well be preparing to make big changes at the back.
David Alaba is expected to announce that he’s leaving as a free agent in the near future while Niklas Sule has fallen down the pecking order this season, starting just 10 matches with Jeroma Boateng the preferred option.
Chelsea have interest in both Bayern defenders and it is claimed that Upamecano’s move to the Allianz Arena could well help the Blues in their pursuit of the defensive duo.
Signing at least one of their top targets will almost certainly mean that Chelsea need to offload some of their current defensive options.
Zouma had started 15 of Chelsea’s 17 opening Premier League matches this season, but he’s yet to feature under Tuchel.
And it was reported back in December that Chelsea were looking to open contract talks with Zouma to extend his current deal, which is set to expire in 2023.
But that may well change considering his stance in Tuchel’s current squad, while Tomori faces a tough battle to get himself into contention of a return to Stamford Bridge.
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