March 9 (Reuters) – Chelsea’s impending sale has left a cloud of uncertainty at the English Premier League club, but the squad have gone from strength to strength to ensure it doesn’t affect performance on the pitch, manager Thomas Tuchel said on Wednesday. .
Roman Abramovich put Chelsea up for sale last week after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine sparked an international backlash against businessmen closely linked to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Abramovich denied having any such ties.
Chelsea, third in the league, are on a three-game winning streak ahead of Thursday’s Championship trip to Norwich City.
“Clarity is always better than uncertainty, but we have produced performances and results in times of global uncertainty and at club level. That makes us proud,” Tuchel told reporters.
“It hasn’t been difficult (to carry on as usual) so a big credit to the club and everyone here at Cobham (training ground). The culture is created from the top down… and that aid.
“People are very dedicated to what they do and I’ve said this many times, the quality of support is exceptional and it creates a certain atmosphere. It can protect you in times of uncertainty.”
Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku, the club’s record signing, was dropped for the final league game and Tuchel said it was “not easy” for the Belgian to watch from the sidelines.
“He’s an important member of the team. There are times when the players aren’t happy because we can only choose 11 players,” Tuchel said.
“There’s always a chance (for Lukaku) because Kai (Havertz) can play more positions than just a number nine and we’ve played with two forwards in the past.
“Of course he doesn’t like the situation, but he’s handling it very professionally and I’m trying to give him my support.”
Defender Andreas Christensen’s contract expires at the end of this season and Tuchel said he was resigned to losing the centre-back in the summer after the Denmark international refused to sign an extension.
“We’re not happy with that. We thought it was better for him to stay but he hasn’t signed (an extension) yet,” Tuchel added.
“It’s also a signal for us, he hasn’t signed so far, so we have to consider the possibility of him leaving us.”
(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Nick Macfie)
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