Here’s all the news from around Stamford Bridge over the past 24 hours.
Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel faced the media ahead of Sunday’s Premier League clash with Manchester United and one of the main talking points from his press conference was if this is his biggest game since replacing Frank Lampard.
“I don’t know, I don’t know,” he said. “In general, I would say the big game is always the next game as there are no bigger games than those you play in general.
“Then there are some special fixtures, it is obvious that a London derby and a Champions League game in Madrid.
“Now Man United, Liverpool and Everton in the league is a series of big fixtures and of course big teams who offer big challenges.
“This is exactly why we are here and we look forward to preparing the team from tomorrow onwards to be ready on Sunday.”
Tuchel also confirmed that Thiago Silva remains unavailable for selection because of injury, but there’s a chance the defender could return to action next week.
Solskjaer confirms Fernandes and Rashford decision
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has confirmed a decision he made in the Europa League clash with Real Sociedad was influenced by this weekend’s match against Chelsea.
Solskjaer‘s side eased their way in the round of 16, with a goalless draw against Real Sociedad setting up a crunch double-header against AC Milan in March.
United had already done the hard work in their tie against the Spanish opposition, winning the first leg 4-0, and rested some key players in the game.
Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford both played 45 minutes each, with Solskjaer confirming that the decision was made in order to keep the pair fit and ready to take on Chelsea.
“Yes, I’ve got to say that they are very very fit athletes who recover well, normally they play every game for the full 90 minutes so today I was very pleased to get them 45 minutes each,” he said after the game.
“Forty-five minutes on a Thursday is good preparation for a Sunday, definitely better than no minutes and then maybe training too much tomorrow because they are eager, and they might over-cook it.
“I am very pleased with the two of them not having any injuries because that’s the risk I always take with playing them, minutes is fine, but every tackle or sprint, you’re a bit worried.”
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Chelsea can seal £88m Sancho transfer
Borussia Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke has hinted that Jadon Sancho could be sold in the summer transfer window.
“In the midst of a pandemic, I no longer rule anything out,” Watzke told Handelsblatt. “But it is not necessarily aspired to. Above all, there is the financial balance: that we have a strong team on the field and are economically stable at the same time.
“Asking banks for credit lines at the drop of a hat just to avoid selling a player will not be our way.”
Reports in Germany, as per the Mirror, claim that due to the changing financial landscape, caused by the coronavirus pandemic, Dortmund would accept around £88m for Sancho.
Whilst Man United are regarded as the England international’s most likely next destination, the Sunday World claim Chelsea transfer guru Marina Granovskaia is ready to splash out a whopping £172million on trying to lure Sancho and Erling Haaland to west London this summer.
And with Watzke’s latest admission, the Blues may feel encouraged to hijack United’s transfer plans.