Abramovich successor approves mammoth Chelsea transfer pot – report
The funds haven’t dried up at Stamford Bridge after Roman Abramovich’s exit from the club, according to a report
Roman Abramovich’s billions may have dried up in West London but that doesn’t mean Chelsea’s thirst for spending has been quenched after reports that new co-owner Todd Boehly is set to green-light a £200 million ($245 million) assault on the transfer market in a bid to close the gap on Premier League pacesetters Manchester City and Liverpool.
Tuchel and Chelsea finished third in Abramovich’s final Premier League campaign with the club but despite a promising start to the season, they were unable to sustain a serious challenge and ultimately finished some 19 points behind eventual winners Man City.
Much of Chelsea’s struggles can be traced to an inability to land a proven goalscorer.
It was thought that last season’s near-£100 million man Romelu Lukaku was the missing piece in the puzzle but the Belgian striker is on the verge of a loan move back to Inter Milan with his tail very much between his legs after a disastrous season in which he scored just 14 goals in 44 appearances – which, despite falling well below expectations, still made him the club’s top goalscorer.
It has been recognized throughout this period of tumult in the club’s history that a bankable striker is required if they are to have realistic ambitions of catching Man City and Liverpool – and all indications are that Boehly is more than happy to approve it.
The American has already made a mark during his short time at the club since taking over along with a Clearlake Capital consortium.
There has been noticeable turnover in the board, with chairman Bruce Buck stepping down – while Abramovich’s transfer guru Marina Granovskaia is also leaving the club.
This has been mirrored in the playing staff too, with first team defenders Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen leaving the club on free transfers in search of Spanish sunshine.
And with considerable work needed, the Telegraph reports that Boehly has handed Tuchel £200 million with which to generate a title challenge.
It is thought that as many as six new signings come come into the club during the summer. Defenders are required, with the likes of Sevilla’s Jules Kounde a long-term target for the club, while Juventus’ Dutch defender Mathijs de Ligt also coveted.
But if goals are needed, reinforcements are badly required up front.
Raheem Sterling, the England international deemed surplus to requirements at Man City following the signing of Erling Haaland, is understood to be keen on a move if the two clubs can agree on a deal, while Barca free agent Ousmane Dembele has also been scouted.
Robert Lewandowski – one of the most proven goal scorers in world football – is also on the shopping list, but he is understood to heavily prefer a move to Barcelona after deciding to leave Bayern Munich.
Another City man, Gabriel Jesus, as well as Everton’s Brazilian forward Richarlison, are thought to have made the shortlist of targets, although Jesus appears close to switch to London rivals Arsenal.
Chelsea have yet to seal any signings so far this summer but speaking recently, Tuchel stated how important it was to revitalize the squad as soon as the Abramovich-linked sanctions on the club were lifted.
“If you look at the last year we have only been in the top three, this is very good, and there is always room for improvement. The level of consistency from City and Liverpool was too much for us, it was too high,” he said towards the end of last season.
“It will not get easier to close this gap, because while we are forced to be passive they are improving their squads. But this is the challenge, and we need to be fast and smart when it’s possible to have a competitive team.”