In Focus: Chelsea interest in Tuchel proves things are not rosy with Conte

According to reports in German publication SportBild, Chelsea are lining up former Borussia Dortmund manager Thomas Tuchel as a replacement for Antonio Conte as the relationship between the Italian and the club’s hierarchy continues to be strained.

What’s the word, then?

Well, SportBild say that despite the Blues beating Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 on Sunday to pick up their first Premier League points of the season, the Italian is under pressure after losing to Arsenal in the Community Shield and being beaten 3-2 by Burnley at Stamford Bridge on the opening day of the new top flight campaign.

SportBild say that Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich and director Marina Granovskaia have already decided that Tuchel, who is currently without a job having been sacked by Dortmund at the end of last season, should be Conte’s replacement with the relationship between him and Granovskaia particularly frosty right now regarding the Diego Costa situation.

The report adds that the German boss is preferred to another out-of-work manager in Luis Enrique as he can speak better English than the Spaniard, while he is also known for his work with younger players – the west London outfit certainly have plenty of those to develop.

Could this really happen?

It’s difficult to say, but it certainly wouldn’t be a huge surprise.

Conte has been visibly frustrated at the club’s lack of progress in the transfer market despite signing the likes of Alvaro Morata, Tiemoue Bakayoko and Antonio Rudiger this summer, while the club may not have been impressed with how the Italian informed Costa by text at the end of last season that he wasn’t part of his plans for the current campaign.

The defeats against Arsenal and Burnley – in which the club were trailing 3-0 at half-time following the early dismissal of Gary Cahill – certainly wouldn’t have helped matters, but the 2-1 win away at Spurs will certainly have improved the mood of everyone involved.

The fact that Tuchel is readily available is certainly a bonus for the Premier League holders, but they also will have to remember that he was sacked after just two seasons in charge of Dortmund.

What happens next?

Well, it remains to be seen whether Chelsea are willing to sack Conte or if they are hoping he walks away, and a lot could depend on the transfer business they do over the next eight days with the Italian still hoping to significantly strengthen his squad, especially in the wing-back positions.