According to multiple reports over the past 24 hours, Thomas Tuchel is set for a two-year contract extension — possibly triggered automatically by winning the Champions League, possibly a new deal beyond any automatic extension — with a wage rise and an option for an additional year, even. (Pseudo-)interim no more! His family are coming over as well, joining him in their new house, which will now truly feel like home. It’s the least he deserves, surely, after engineering such an historic campaign despite taking over on short notice at the halfway point of the season.
Told after speaking to him briefly last night, Thomas Tuchel met with Roman Abramovich again this morning in Porto. Understand the talks went very well and I think it's safe to assume we'll hear something official on his contract extension in the coming hours/days. #cfc— Matt Law (@Matt_Law_DT) May 30, 2021
Of course, as we know, contract lengths can be rather malleable and best laid plans can often turn sour overnight. But if there’s one thing Tuchel has shown since January, it’s a keen and clear-eyed understanding of the short-termist reality of top flight football management. That won’t deflate his desire and drive to help Chelsea reach the next level.
“If I have a one-year contract, I will work in the same way as if I have a three or four-year contract. It will not change so much because I demand a lot from myself and it will not affect my input and my energy. I’m very happy to be here, it’s a fantastic beginning and we go now for the next one.”
After meeting Roman Abramovich for the first time in person Saturday on the pitch, Tuchel has reportedly met again with the owner to talk shop and discuss plans and visions for next season and the upcoming transfer window.
Chelsea made massive waves last summer, spending big to begin the rebuild in the post-Hazard era as others shirked from the market amid the pandemic. While we don’t need another such spree again, Tuchel does have a few key signings in mind, in addition to contract extensions for the likes of Thiago Silva, Andreas Christensen, and N’Golo Kanté (all should be imminent) and Antonio Rüdiger (set for talks after the Euros) — and they reportedly include Romelu Lukaku, Declan Rice (Aurélien Tchouaméni the alternate target), and, more surprisingly, Adama Traoré, who’s apparently seen as someone to compete with Reece James on the right flank.
“Two or three could be very, very good. It’s a constant thing to never deny change. That you always bring new energy, new guys who question the old beliefs, who challenge everybody in the training and in matches, so I think it’s a good thing.
“We don’t need another seven and another complete turnover because it’s also our job to keep on improving, because we have still a young squad and it’s not about stealing from them the chance to prove it again that they are capable of growing and evolving. But we have some ideas, of course, to make the group stronger and I think this can always be a positive thing to challenge all of us.”
As usual, the right words from Tuchel there. The constant influx of (some) new blood was one of the major beliefs of Sir Alex Ferguson as well, for example, in his quarter century at Manchester United, while Tuchel’s acknowledgement of the youth pathway is equally important, if not more so. (Though Tammy Abraham still looks on his way out, just as Fikayo Tomori.)
And winning the Champions League is certainly not a culmination. It is just the start.
“The foundation is very, very strong. The belief, the determination of the club, the players, the group that they built is very strong. We have a group with a very strong bond, a genuine belief and a fantastic work ethic, so it’s still a young, inexperienced squad.
“The challenge now is to make this not too heavy for us, this huge success. Because they have this huge success very early in their careers and to keep them hungry. So this is now the challenge [...] ‘the next one’. So this is now the thing, we have a Premier League to play from day one.
“We will be seen a bit differently as Champions League winners and this is where we have to step up. If we really want to build something, I’m all in, I can tell you. And I’m happy to talk about it and discuss it. If our beliefs match, we go from there.”
-Thomas Tuchel; source: Telegraph
This all sounds great in theory. Time to make it happen then.