Here are the Chelsea morning headlines for Thursday, March 25.
Summer transfer plans
Chelsea fans should expect this summer’s transfer window to follow a different plan to those they have become used to in recent years.
After the big spending of last summer, that led to some proclaiming the Blues to have won the window, it is likely that we will see a quieter few months in 2021.
The transfer ban in the windows leading up to last summer meant that the club had more holes to fill last summer than would have liked, but now their squad is in a far healthier place than 12 months ago.
Thomas Tuchel has reinvigorated countless members of the first team. There is no need for the Blues to buy in bulk this time around.
However, just because Chelsea won’t be trying to buy in bulk doesn’t mean they won’t be trying at all, there are still areas that the club are looking at, a new striker and a new centre-back being the priorities.
Erling Haaland is the clear target in attack but in defence there are various possible targets who could come in to bolster a defensive group that have only conceded two goals since Thomas Tuchel’s arrival at Stamford Bridge.
N’Golo Kante’s development praised
France national team manager Didier Deschamps has praised N’Golo Kante for how he has developed his mindset in recent years.
The France international has had his season interrupted through injury and being asked to perform slightly different roles by his two managers this season Frank Lampard and Tuchel.
But Tuchel has moved him back into his favoured defensive role and allowed him a cautious return to action following his hamstring injury.
That is something that Deschamps seems to have noticed an been appreciative of, as well as in how Kante has reacted to the Chelsea boss’ plans.
He said: “I am not unhappy when Tuchel does not start him every game. But everything is about communication. Players can arrive from their club not in ideal shape and then come back in better condition.
“The reverse is also possible. With Kante, it is more about physical problems that have been ongoing for several seasons. He does not save himself but he is like that, I will not change it.
“With a little experience, he is learning to manage himself.”
Barcelona’s Coutinho price revealed
The Philippe Coutinho rumours have started up once again, with Barcelona apparently happy to let him leave this summer.
Chelsea have been linked with the former Liverpool man for the last couple of transfer windows without success but the fee Ronald Koeman and Barcelona are willing to accept could open up their chances of making a move.
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Spanish publication Sport revealed that Barcelona are desperate to see Coutinho exit the club and if a £35m offer comes in they will snap the bidder’s hands-off in order to facilitate the Brazilians exit from the club as quickly as possible.
With Chelsea looking primarily at a striker and central defender this summer a move could still be unlikely but with Coutinho available for over £100m less that Barca originally paid Liverpool they could well be tempted.
The Brazilian has only made 10 starts for Barcelona this season, despite impressing on loan at Bayern Munich last season. Read more about where he could end up here.