Thomas Tuchel says he is very worried about the forthcoming international break and admits Chelsea may have to stop players from representing their countries.
The German coach has transformed the Blues’ season since taking charge at the end of January. Chelsea are unbeaten in ten matches under Tuchel, have moved into the Premier League top four, hold a first-leg lead in their round of 16 Champions League tie with Atletico Madrid, and are into the FA Cup quarter finals.
Momentum has quickly built under the 47-year-old but that is set to be halted at the end of this month with the majority of Chelsea’s first-team squad set to represent their countries in World Cup qualifiers across the globe.
The Blues currently have two players– Thiago Silva and Edouard Mendy– who may have to visit countries on the UK Government’s red list: Brazil and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Should both travel to those countries, they would, as things stand, have to quarantine in a hotel for 10 days on their return to England, potentially missing Chelsea’s Premier League games against West Bromwich Albion and Crystal Palace.
It has been confirmed by the Department of Health that footballers will not receive exemptions to the quarantine rules.
Indeed, anyone arriving in the UK from a country on the ‘red list’ would not be allowed to use the ‘test to release scheme’, where travellers from non-red list countries are able to leave home isolation after a negative test on day five.
And these stringent but very necessary measures are what Tuchel admits may sway Chelsea’s thinking if members of their senior squad are called-up by their countries later this month.
He said: “I am absolutely worried because my target is to play Premier League and if I have players in quarantine I cannot build a group that we want.
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“This is the risk and I am absolutely worried about this situation. But I am also sure that the club knows how to handle it.
“If it maybe is the consequence that the players cannot go then this is the consequence. This situation is extraordinary.
“We have to adapt and we will do this as a club. We will take these decisions when the decisions are [needed to be] taken. We are very concerned about the situation.”