Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has tried to play down speculation on a decision by Erling Haaland and said he ‘fell into a trap’ by joking about the prospect of teaming up with the Borussia Dortmund forward in attack with Romelu Lukaku.
The 48-year-old gave an interview to SportBild this week after winning the German newspaper’s Coach of the Year award, confirming his team had considered signing Haaland, who ESPN sources say wants 30 million pounds a year salary for his next move, over the summer and that the Chelsea boss would have « no problem » in associating him with Lukaku.
– You don’t have ESPN? Access immediately
– ESPN + Viewers Guide: LaLiga, Bundesliga, MLS, FA Cup, more
Tuchel’s comments are said to have sparked a furious reaction from Dortmund, who may resign themselves to losing Haaland next summer given he has a € 75million release clause that becomes active at the end of the season. with a host of big clubs including Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and Manchester City monitoring the situation.
“I fell into a trap,” Tuchel said. “I received an award in Germany. I received an award from a newspaper and they asked me about a player.
“Normally I never, ever talk about other players because I just never, ever do. Then we didn’t care more or less. I should have known because [I was] laugh at that and be a nice guy and answer a question instead of « no, I don’t want to answer a question ».
“Getting that award and I’m joking about a double striker with Romelu in October, then it’s like we’ve made an offer. That was the background, but okay, I should have known better. «
Chelsea were originally interested in Haaland but eventually signed Lukaku from Inter Milan for € 115million as Dortmund sold Jadon Sancho to Manchester United and refused to sanction any further high profile departures.
Sancho has so far struggled to find his best form at Old Trafford after thriving in the Bundesliga, a pattern that has also been replicated in the careers of Timo Werner and Kai Havertz.
Haaland’s phenomenal form – totaling 70 goals in 69 games for Dortmund in all competitions to date – suggests he will be a success at the club he will join. But Tuchel said there would be no guarantees.
“It’s interesting that as German staff we get very humble when we see the difference in performance in the Bundesliga and obviously how harder it is to produce the same numbers in the Premier League,” he said.
“This is also the big question in every transfer you make. This player plays in Germany, Spain, Italy or conversely in England, can he also play in the other country, the other culture, in the other This is for me one of the big questions because we can spot them at any physical, mental level, do tests with them and observe them, how they behave.
“On social media they let you watch their life so you know pretty much everything except the fact what does it mean if you play in club A in country B, what does it mean for your club C in country D? That will be the question.
“Every player is different so to make it a rule of thumb it might not be possible, but it looks like this is the toughest league here and produces some amazing stats. It cannot be a surprise. You are proud to have this league in England and you should be. It’s a lot of fun to watch and maybe more fun to work on. It’s like that. »
Havertz is likely to lead Chelsea’s attack on Norwich on Saturday after Lukaku and Werner were ruled out with ankle and hamstring injuries respectively.
The pair will also miss the Carabao Cup fourth round home match with Southampton next Tuesday, but Tuchel has declined to comment on either player’s return for their next trip to Newcastle United on October 30. .