Transfer rumors and speculation are the lifeblood of football media. Nothing drives clicks and eyeballs and easy stories better. Everyone knows this and everyone keeps perpetuating this unfortunate paradigm since we all keep consuming them — often even when they’re obviously rotten.
This fake news machine has gotten so powerful thanks to this insatiable appetite that it doesn’t even matter what the players or managers involved might say. Confirm, deny, sidestep, deflect, wink, laugh, say nothing — they’re all “newsworthy” enough. Meanwhile, everyone’s hoping that someone responds with something out of the banal norm.
That’s not going to be old fox Tommy T however. He knows how this game is played.
“I can understand your interest in the question and the interest of every fan and supporter to talk about these subjects. I am always a fan and am interested in what’s going on. But now it is February and there is a long way to go.
“As you get to know me, you will know I will not talk about other players publicly when they are under contract. This is the type of respect we show to them but also to our own players. We think about our central defenders and strikers first and push them to the limits. Everything else will be decided behind closed doors. I’m sorry.”
-Thomas Tuchel; source: Football.London
Tuchel is well aware of his own reputation (and history) of getting into conflicts with upper management over transfers and the like, so we have that chapter to look forward to in the future.
For now, we’re in the happy cool phase, and that’s a good place to be.
But next time, wink twice if it’s Upamecano.