Thomas Tuchel: Chelsea head coach dismisses links to Manchester United job and has 'plenty of reasons to stay'

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

Thomas Tuchel
Image: Thomas Tuchel says he has 'plenty of reasons to stay' at Chelsea

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.

Thomas Tuchel celebrates after Chelsea's win over Newcastle
Image: Thomas Tuchel celebrates after Chelsea's win over Newcastle

"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.

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"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.

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Jamie Carragher says that he believes a Manchester United move for Thomas Tuchel is realistic given the uncertainty at Chelsea.

"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."

Tuchel: Let's see what happens with new owners

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.

Chelsea fans held a banner for Roman Abramovich at Stamford Bridge on Sunday
Image: Chelsea fans held a banner for Roman Abramovich at Stamford Bridge on Sunday

"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."

The state of play ahead of Chelsea bids deadline

  • The Ricketts family: The American family who own the Chicago Cubs. Significantly, they are backed by Ken Griffin, who is a hedge fund billionaire and we've been told he is almost three times as rich as Roman Abramovich. He is also the single richest individual that we are aware of at the moment who is interested in buying Chelsea.
  • Sir Martin Broughton: There is another bid which is being fronted by Sir Martin Broughton. He is a former chairman of British Airways, a former chairman of Liverpool who was heavily involved when Liverpool was taken over by Fenway Sports Group. He is a long-term Chelsea supporter and he has teamed up with Lord Coe, another long-term Chelsea supporter. Lord Coe said Wednesday night that Broughton is the right man to lead Chelsea into the future and also their consortium is backed by the American financier, Michael Klein.
  • Nick Candy: Another bid that is very interesting is one that involves another life-long Chelsea supporter. He is backed by Gianluca Viallli, who of course used to play for Chelsea. Vialli now has a company called Tifosy Capital. Vialli said on Wednesday he was very proud and privileged to be involved in Candy's bid and that he'd met him on several occasions in the past few weeks. He believes Candy is the right man to lead Chelsea into the future.
  • The Boehly-Wyss-Goldstein-Finkelstein consortium: There's also the other bid from the US, part-owner of the LA Dodgers Todd Boehly who has teamed up with Swiss billionaire Hansjorg Wyss and they are backed by Jonathan Goldstein. Times columnist and former Conservative government adviser Daniel Finkelstein has joined the trio.He is a Chelsea supporter and would become a non-executive director if the bid is successful. He was made a life peer in 2013. Bloomberg are reporting that Barbara Charone has also joined the same consortium. She is a Chelsea fan who set up the music PR company MBC PR. Madonna, Foo Fighters, Rod Stewart and Maroon 5 are some of their artists.
  • Aethel Partners: Aethel Partners put in a bid worth more than £2billion for Chelsea on Thursday. It is an investment company based in Berkeley Square in London. It is willing to provide Chelsea with an immediate £50m to deal with any short-term financing the club may need.
  • Another bidder? Other possible bidders include Woody Johnson, the former US ambassador to the UK and owner of the New York Jets. He is very close to Donald Trump and is putting together a consortium as well. There is also the Saudi Media Group, which is said to be interested.

Chelsea will 'fight' to get fans in for Real Madrid games

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Thomas Tuchel says that not having fans would impact the outcome of their Champions League quarter final against Real Madrid as sanctions continue to affect the club.

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."

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When asked if he should be named manager of the month, Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel responded with a funny line about being careful when he’s sent flowers from journalists.

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.

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