Thomas Tuchel has been linked with a move to Old Trafford in recent weeks in the wake of Chelsea's impending sale, with Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher leading the calls for Manchester United to make a move; Chelsea face Middlesbrough in FA Cup quarter-finals this weekend
Friday 18 March 2022 16:30, UK
Thomas Tuchel has dismissed rumours that he could become Manchester United manager, claiming he has "plenty of reasons to stay" at Chelsea despite the club's off-field problems.
The German head coach's future at Stamford Bridge has come into question in recent weeks in the wake of sanctions placed on Russian owner Roman Abramovich, with Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher leading calls for United to make a move for Tuchel.
But the Blues boss has reiterated his desire to stay at the club, which he claims gives him "everything he needs to make me happy".
"Actually no reaction at all [to the rumours]," said Tuchel in a press conference before Chelsea's FA Cup quarter-final at Middlesbrough. "Do you feel me less committed to the club or less involved in the club? Absolutely not.
"I have said many times that I love to be here and this club has everything it needs to make me happy. There is no need. We have plenty of reasons to stay at the moment.
"I do my best and I've felt the support here in the club since day one. That makes me feel safe and then I do my best to play my role and push things forward."
Sky Sports' Carragher believed Manchester United should ask the question about Tuchel's availability, as Chelsea's Premier League rivals search for an option after Ralf Rangnick's interim stint.
"I think it is realistic in that if you are Manchester United why wouldn't you ask that question?" Carragher added. "Unfortunately with the situation that Chelsea find themselves in, other clubs will be looking at their situation in terms of players or managers going forward, that's the nature of the beast.
"He's one of the best managers in world football and Manchester United are looking for one but I think he's come out and said that he's committed to the club and I'm sure that what he's got to say.
"But there are uncertain times for Chelsea because you don't know what the ownership is going to be towards the end of the season.
"He's 100 per cent the most important person you have to keep in place as a new owner. In terms of Thomas Tuchel, they have a guy - and there's very few of them in world football - who can compete with Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola, whether it's in this league or the Champions League. And those managers are very few and far between right now."
Final bids for Chelsea are due in at 9pm on Friday evening, with the Raine Group based in New York controlling the sale of the club on Abramovich's behalf.
Among 200 different groups have registered an interest in the club, but Tuchel claims he will try and maintain the culture that currently exists at Chelsea, no matter who succeeds Abramovich as owner.
"I am an employee and that's why I'm ready to play my role and adapt," Tuchel added. "Let's see what's coming. It's uncertain times and uncertainty can create for some people fear and that's completely normal.
"But we can also trust in what we have in the culture of the club and what we have here in Cobham and the quality of the group. We can trust in that and trust for a good outcome. We stay positive and hopefully it will come like this. Hopefully they [the new owners] love winning, that would be a big plus."
Chelsea have been drawn against Real Madrid in the Champions League quarter-finals, but they currently cannot allow any of their fans to attend either of the two legs due to the sanctions placed on Abramovich.
Tuchel confirmed that the club are in talks to try and get round these restrictions - with the German vowing that the board will do everything they can to get Chelsea fans in the ground for the European contest.
"It's a tough one," said Tuchel when asked about the task of facing Real Madrid. "The challenge couldn't be much higher, playing the second leg in the Bernabeu with their spectators.
"It's a big challenge and a big excitement around this match and this fixture. We know what's coming and it will be an exciting match and a tough challenge.
"It would be a disadvantage [to play without Chelsea fans] but in general this game is for the spectators and the game changes so much with spectators.
"Hopefully we can find a situation, hopefully everyone in the club and abroad will fight for a chance. I don't know how big the possibility is [for Chelsea fans to attend the games]. But every game is for the spectators and it's a different game when the crowd is in the stadium."
Sanctions will remain at Chelsea until the new owners take over, though the Government have lifted the £20,000 away travel cap for the FA Cup quarter-final at Middlesbrough this weekend.
Tuchel's squad are flying to Middlesbrough on Friday evening and the total cost of the trip is about £60,000. They are travelling as they would normally travel to any game in the UK.
"Everybody worked hard to make it happen," Tuchel revealed in his press conference. "It has gone through and organised, we can travel by plane which is very good because we only had two days to rest in between and it's very important to minimise the time of travel and maximise the time of recovery. Everything is organised as usual and we can prepare normally."
Chelsea remain in talks with the government about amending some of the restrictions imposed on them. They want to be able to provide tickets for fans as soon as possible. The government have considered appointing a third party to handle the sale and distribution of tickets.