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Thomas Tuchel tight-lipped on Erling Haaland ‘race’ and urges transfer patience

Thomas Tuchel believes Erling Haaland’s agent Mino Raiola is “creating a race” to sign the prolific Borussia Dortmund striker and insists Chelsea are in no rush over any summer transfers.

Raiola and Haaland’s father Alf Inge met with Barcelona and Real Madrid on Thursday, and were due to move on to meet clubs in England.

Dortmund insist Haaland is not for sale, but Chelsea are understood to be among a nucleus of top clubs keen on recruiting the fast-rising 20-year-old star.

Chelsea v Sheffield United – Emirates FA Cup – Quarter Final – Stamford Bridge
Thomas Tuchel, pictured, believes Chelsea need not be in any rush in this summer’s transfer market (John Walton/PA)

Asked if Chelsea will meet with Raiola and Haaland’s ex-Manchester City midfielder father, Blues boss Tuchel replied: “I will not answer that, out of respect for the player and for Borussia Dortmund.

“He’s a Borussia Dortmund player, and of course there’s big news around him and his agent.

“And it seems like they are creating a race for the player.

“But still everybody needs to accept, and I will fully accept, that he is a Borussia Dortmund player. A very promising player of course, but with respect to the situation he’s not in our squad, he’s not in our club so there’s no comment on anything else regarding him.”

Owner Roman Abramovich signalled his renewed intent to push Chelsea back to the top of the European game when the Blues spent more than £220million on transfers last summer.

All indications point towards Chelsea and new boss Tuchel having further funds to invest in the summer’s transfer window, but the savvy German manager insisted the club will bide their time before making any big decisions.

Asked if Chelsea can invest in their squad again this summer, Tuchel replied: “Honestly we have to wait, I think it’s another situation, a strange situation with the pandemic worldwide.

“A situation where it’s absolutely necessary where we as a club need to adapt and be patient.

“But at the same time we have to see if there is even a market, what does it look like, can we invest?

“Are there chances to generate money, is there interest in our players, is there capacity from other clubs to buy players from us?

“Are we able to buy, do we want to buy?

“What I can say now is the situation is not very clear, and we need to be patient.

“And I agree with the club with this, we need to be patient, not lose our heads and fully trust the guys we have,” added Tuchel, whose side are fourth in the Premier League and still involved in the Champions League and FA Cup.

“We have eight weeks coming, decisive, exciting weeks, and full of decisive matches where we can achieve three big goals.

“There are three big targets we want to achieve. My trust and my full concentration is on the players who are here.

“And anything else, we will have time for that.

Leeds United v Chelsea – Premier League – Elland Road
Chelsea invested big money in high-profile recruits like Kai Havertz, right, last summer (Lee Smith/PA)

“Now is also the moment for the players to show we can trust them.”

Chelsea have also been linked with a move for Sergio Aguero, with the Argentina hitman having already confirmed he will leave Manchester City this summer.

When quizzed on Aguero, Tuchel again remained tight-lipped.

“I don’t need to talk, it’s the same, the same answer as for Haaland,” said Tuchel.

Sergio Aguero File Photo
Serio Aguero, pictured, will bid farewell to Manchester City at the end of the season (Adam Davy/PA)

“It’s absolutely clear that we have full respect for Man City and Sergio Aguero who is a big player for them.

“There is no word needed from me about that.

“His career is outstanding, it speaks for itself, and it’s not finished yet.

“He will still help Man City to achieve their goals this season.

“But I will never speak more than that about a player of a rival.”

Chelsea return to Premier League action after the international break by hosting West Brom on Saturday, with Tuchel having been named manager of the month.

N’Golo Kante will miss out with a muscle problem, but Callum Hudson-Odoi, Thiago Silva and Tammy Abraham are all fit to feature.

“Everybody was in training today, except for N’Golo Kante, who did individual work,” said Tuchel.

“But everyone else was out on the pitch and is in contention for tomorrow, which is good news.

“It’s very likely that next week’s game against Porto will be too soon for N’Golo.

“He has a little muscle injury, so my realistic approach is to think after Porto.”

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