Thomas Tuchel has insisted that he will not be switching off from matters at the club this summer as the need to act swiftly on a variety of issues outranks his desire for an immediate break.
At the end of a hectic 63-game season, most of the playing squad and backroom staff have departed for a well-deserved holiday but the Chelsea head coach is adamant he has work to continue, with a change in ownership of the club imminent.
Transfer plans and contract renewals have been frustratingly placed on hold but Tuchel is hopeful that will all change soon, at which point he has stressed the need to act fast and smartly in order to make up for lost time in the market.
‘I cannot go on holiday, it’s impossible,’ said the boss. ‘There are too many things to clarify and have an opinion on. It’s not necessary to do everything in person but the first days I will be here anyway and around because my children are in school so the holidays will start with a bit of a delay.
‘It’s also normal in a situation like ours that you stay in contact and you have the possibility with Zoom and FaceTime to have calls, share opinions and to move on forward, because we need to.
‘We don’t really know what’s going to happen - if we are able to sell, do we want to sell, do we have a chance to get alternatives? The situation is not only for us as the ones responsible for the rebuild and for transfers, it’s also for the players a strange situation.
‘You could feel it over a long period of time. We managed to put it aside and keep the focus but the longer it got after the international break, it had an impact on us and it still has. Let’s see when we will finally have the chance to act and make up because the disadvantage in terms of timing for the rebuild is big and we have to be fast and smart.’
Many of our players will be back on international duty next month and Tuchel has revealed that those with an interrupted summer break will be permitted a delayed return to Cobham for pre-season training.
The Blues head to the USA in July for friendlies in Las Vegas, Charlotte and Orlando, with our German coach hopeful that he will have a full squad available for the transatlantic tour prior to the Premier League curtain-raiser on 5 August.
‘The plan is if they play for their national teams, they will come back one week later than the rest on 9 July,’ he explained. ‘Hopefully we can do this and have everybody for the pre-season because it’s a pre-season where you have at least four weeks together and not a lot of groups are coming at different timings.
‘It’s more or less two groups and then we have to be quick to adapt to the qualities and the personalities of any new guys.’
With Manchester City crowned as league champions for the fourth time in five years, the onus is on Chelsea and the chasing pack to close the gap on Pep Guardiola’s men. However, Tuchel believes our rivals will be stronger and the challenge looks even tougher in 2022/23.
‘It will be a super tough race,’ he added. ‘Manchester United will be in the race, Tottenham will be in the race with Antonio Conte for sure, and we want to stay in the race. Liverpool and Man City do everything to even make their squads bigger and they set the standard so high.
‘This is the challenge in which we compete. We have a huge disadvantage in the moment but it’s not decisive yet and there’s no need to make excuses now. It’s just the situation in which we are in and we have to be as quick as possible.
‘Right now it’s unsatisfying because our hands are tied and we cannot act [in the transfer market] as we want. We have clear ideas for the profiles and the characteristics of these players but there’s normally a lot of work to do and it will be the same to be competitive next season. While everybody else tries to close the gap to us and while the two top teams are what they are - a benchmark of consistency - this is the situation and from there we will do our best to be competitive.’