Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel wants to sign a new central defender and a striker as a matter of priority this summer, according to reports. The German boss has enjoyed a fantastic start to life at Stamford Bridge, helping the Blues to turn their lacklustre form around and mount a renewed challenge for a top-four finish.
Chelsea remain unbeaten since Tuchel’s appointment at the end of January and are still in the hunt to win both the Champions League and the FA Cup.
A large part of their success has been down to their strength at the back, with the Blues conceding just twice in all competitions under the guidance of the former Paris Saint-Germain boss.
However, despite their watertight defensive performances since the turn of the year, a new centre-back is near the top of Tuchel’s summer wish list, according to football.london.
In terms of his current options, the 47-year-old seems to have settled on the trio of Antonio Rudiger, Cesar Azpilicueta and Andreas Christensen, but all three will be out of contract at the end of next season.
Meanwhile, Kurt Zouma has been restricted to a bit-part role, suggesting that Tuchel is not overly convinced of the Frenchman’s defensive capabilities.
Thiago Silva, who thrived under the German boss at PSG, also faces an uncertain future amid the possibility that he will leave the club at the end of the campaign.
The Brazilian veteran penned a one-year deal upon joining the Blues in pre-season, but is yet to agree an extension with just three months remaining until he is set to become a free agent.
Chelsea have been linked with a number of high-profile targets in recent weeks, including RB Leipzig star Ibrahima Konate and experienced Atletico Madrid stalwart Jose Gimenez.
Bayern Munich’s David Alaba, who will not be staying with the Bundesliga giants next season, has also been tipped to make the switch to Stamford Bridge but appears far more likely to join Real Madrid on a free transfer.
Although a new defender will be a top priority for the Blues going into the summer window, the west London outfit are also looking to add a central striker, with one candidate standing head and shoulders above the rest.
Borussia Dortmund star Erling Haaland has been mentioned in connection with a number of the world’s biggest clubs, including Manchester United and Real Madrid, and Chelsea are another side believed to be in the frame for his signature.
Tuchel has been forced to field Kai Havertz, who usually plays as a midfielder or a winger, in the No 9 role in recent weeks but the 21-year-old is unlikely to be utilised as a long-term solution at the top of the pitch.
Olivier Giroud has enjoyed a decent campaign when drafted in to lead the line, but is approaching the end of his career at 34 years of age, while Tammy Abraham has failed to even make the bench for his side’s last four Premier League outings, although he has struggled with injury as of late.
The former Bristol City loanee featured heavily under Frank Lampard during the first half of the campaign before seeing his first-team opportunities limited after Tuchel’s arrival.
The Blues boss claimed that he was not thinking about reinforcements after Chelsea’s goalless draw at Leeds United earlier this month, suggesting that he will look to extract the best out of his current options before dipping into the transfer market.
“It is not time to reflect for the summer and other solutions, other than what we have,” Tuchel told reporters. “We have guys that we are happy with and are looking for more solutions, we will try to help them.
“In general, I am happy because we don’t only look at the output in how they score and assist. Of course, this is a statistic in which every striker is attached to and everyone has to have the mentality to cope with the statistic. It is like this at high-level football.
“We are still waiting for a breakthrough for the guys to be on a run to score consistently, it is not the case. We will never stop pushing and looking for solutions to create even more clear chances for them. That’s the way it is.”