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Chelsea ‘cannot help’ sale plans affecting contract talks – Thomas Tuchel

Cesar Azpilicueta, Toni Rudiger and Andreas Christensen are all out of contract in the summer and Roman Abramovich has put the club up for sale.

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Cesar Azpilicueta, right, and Toni Rudiger, left, are both out of contract at Chelsea this summer (Ian Walton/PA)

Cesar Azpilicueta, right, and Toni Rudiger, left, are both out of contract at Chelsea this summer (Ian Walton/PA)

Cesar Azpilicueta, right, and Toni Rudiger, left, are both out of contract at Chelsea this summer (Ian Walton/PA)

Thomas Tuchel has admitted Chelsea cannot stop Roman Abramovich’s sale plans affecting the club’s negotiations with out-of-contract stars.

Toni Rudiger, Cesar Azpilicueta and Andreas Christensen are still to finalise their plans for next season, with all three senior defenders’ deals expiring at the end of the season.

Germany defender Rudiger had been understood to be edging closer to a possible new contract agreement with the Blues, while Azpilicueta and Christensen have come under heavy courtship from Barcelona.

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Thomas Tuchel, pictured, has accepted Chelsea’s change of ownership could affect matters on the playing squad (Kieran Cleeves/PA)

Thomas Tuchel, pictured, has accepted Chelsea’s change of ownership could affect matters on the playing squad (Kieran Cleeves/PA)

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Thomas Tuchel, pictured, has accepted Chelsea’s change of ownership could affect matters on the playing squad (Kieran Cleeves/PA)

All three respected and reliable operators have big options away from Stamford Bridge though, with Real Madrid and Paris St Germain having shown long-term interest in Rudiger.

Abramovich’s 19-year ownership of Chelsea is about to end, after the 55-year-old confirmed the club was up for sale on Wednesday night.

And manager Tuchel has conceded the impending change of owner will have a bearing on current negotiations with that out-of-contract trio.

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“Maybe the bottom line is we cannot help it; it’s what it is,” said Tuchel.

“And you never know, maybe there’s a positive effect on the negotiation, maybe there’s a negative effect.

“We cannot predict and I would like not to predict, not to start predicting all scenarios, because we just lose focus on it.

“But of course everybody has a different situation, everybody feels differently about it.”

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Andreas Christensen, pictured, has yet to resolve his future with is Chelsea contract expiring this summer (Adam Davy/PA)

Andreas Christensen, pictured, has yet to resolve his future with is Chelsea contract expiring this summer (Adam Davy/PA)

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Andreas Christensen, pictured, has yet to resolve his future with is Chelsea contract expiring this summer (Adam Davy/PA)

Chelsea’s long-term strategies will naturally be subject to review pending the new owner’s vision.

But Tuchel insisted Abramovich’s moves to sell the Blues have not yet affected any plans for this summer’s transfer window.

Director Marina Granovskaia and technical director Petr Cech will continue in their roles as normal while the process of a sale is carried out.

And Tuchel was adamant that, so far at least, no ground had been lost.

“Actually to be very honest there are no talks in the moment for the summer,” said Tuchel.

“We are not going on, not with Marina, not with Petr, it’s simply a bit too early.

“There are always ideas and reflections on the subject. But the main focus in the last weeks, even without all the noise, was on the different competitions in the last weeks.

“To be as successful as we can be, and to bring our the best in our team.

“Where we had some work to do we still have some work to do, to constantly improve.

“But we are in a good place at the moment, I feel the team again growing and getting better and better.

“So no worries in this particular case on the summer, because there’s still a long time until summer.”

Chelsea will travel to Burnley on Saturday for their first Premier League match since the 1-0 win at Crystal Palace on February 19.

Tuchel admitted the sheer scale of Abramovich selling has the power to distract his players, but insisted everyone in the Chelsea set-up knows how to maintain focus.

“It can affect, we should not say this has no effect,” said Tuchel.

“But I think we should be careful of already giving an outlook on a general impact because we have 80 people in the building, 80 different life situations and 80 different characters, and they will handle the situation differently.

“And I think that we have also the chance here in Cobham to react to the situation how we want and in the end still influence everybody in a positive way, that it’s okay to focus on sport, and we proved it already twice in the last two games.

“So right now there are not too many reasons why we should not be able to do it a third time, then a fourth time and a fifth time.

“Let’s see what’s going to happen, how the situation evolves and continues. But right now I’m positive that we can be competitive tomorrow.”


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