Tuchel hits back at Neville's claims that Chelsea are 'panicking'

Thomas Tuchel hits back at Gary Neville’s claims that Todd Boehly is ‘panicking’ in the transfer market as he defends Chelsea’s ‘fantastic’ new owner despite missing out on multiple targets

  • Gary Neville says Todd Boehly is treating Chelsea ‘like playing Football Manager’
  • The new Blues owner is experiencing his first summer in the transfer market
  • Raheem Sterling and Kalidou Koulibaly have been the star arrivals at the club
  • Tuchel says he has ‘nothing but compliments and the biggest respect for Todd’
  • The German added that he has an open line of communication with the owner 

Thomas has launched a strong defence of ‘super hard working’ new Chelsea co-owners Todd Boehly and Behdad Egbali after pundit Gary Neville labelled the former ‘panicky’ and claimed ‘it looks like he wants to play Football Manager.’

As well as being part of the consortium with Clearlake Capital that have taken over the club Boehly has also taken on responsibilities for transfers as interim sporting director.

Chelsea have made four big money signings – Raheem Sterling, Kalidou Koulibaly, Gabriel Slonina and Carney Chukwuemeka – and are on the verge of confirming their biggest summer signing so far in left-back Marc Cucurella from Brighton in a deal worth up to £62m.

Thomas Tuchel has defended new Chelsea owner Todd Boehly amid Gary Neville’s criticism

But, in a hectic transfer period, they have also missed out on a number of players including Raphinha, Jules Kounde and Nathan Ake.

Chelsea’s approach in the transfer market and the wide range of targets prompted the criticism from Neville but Tuchel said: 

‘Panicking? No, I would describe it as super hard working and learning while on the job. The transfer market is one of the toughest things you can do when you come from the outside but I have nothing but compliments and the biggest respect for Todd.’

Gary Neville suggested that co-owner Todd Boehly ‘wants to play Football Manager’ at Chelsea

But Tuchel labelled Boehly, who completed his takeover in May, as ‘super hard working’

‘I don’t know when they sleep, I think maybe they never sleep. We have a very honest, open and direct line of communication and the transfers so far speak for themselves. 

‘We have a delay, of course. Nobody is guilty for that delay because of the sanctions, which led to the loss of key players. But both of the owners who are involved in the daily business are doing a fantastic job so far.’

Chelsea finished third in the Premier League last season behind runaway title contenders Manchester City and Liverpool. 

Tuchel was asked whether he felt his side were capable of being in contention to lift the trophy this year, but appeared to suggest that it would be unlikely. 

Chelsea have missed out on key targets this summer such as Raphinha, who joined Barcelona

‘I don’t want to put a limit on our expectations right now or put too much pressure on ourselves,’ the German admitted. ‘I don’t think that would help us. I believe we are a club in transition, a team in transition and at the same time I don’t want to limit us from the beginning and say it’s not possible. 

‘Who knows what is possible? It is possible [to go] in both directions, so we should be humble and try hard to be the best version of ourselves. We have the capacity to win games and win consecutive games. 

‘We are very aware of the quality of Liverpool and Manchester City, of Tottenham, Arsenal and Manchester United. Normally one or two teams step up surprisingly and overperform. This is why the Premier League is so exciting.’ 

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