Tuchel admits defender need amid Fofana and confesses ‘close bond’ with Aubameyang

Thomas Tuchel has given his thoughts on Chelsea’ current transfer links with Wesley Fofana and Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang, but admitted Chelsea need defensive support.

The Blues boss was talking ahead of his side’s derby with Tottenham on Sunday, after a turbulent summer in which he has lost a number of first team regulars.


Tuchel’s had a busy few months setting up his team and it might not be over yet

Fofana has been heavily linked but Leicester are keen to hang on


Fofana has been heavily linked but Leicester are keen to hang on

The London side have spent an estimated £148million on five new players, but have seen key departures in their back line.

Centre-backs Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger have left along with forwards Timo Werner and Romelu Lukaku, while Kalidou Koulibaly is the only arrival in defence.

Chelsea have been strongly linked with a big money move for Leicester’s Fofana to fill the gap, but Tuchel refused to comment on the player, only the position.

When Fofana’s name came up Tuchel interrupted the reporter to jokingly say: “We can shorten this, I will not comment. No matter how good your question may be, I will not comment.”

He then added: “We could use one more central defender; if you look at the numbers and that we play with a back-three. The profile of the guys in the three is a little bit different, I admit.

“We can play with Azpi [Cesar Azpilicueta], who is more a full-back than a central defender. [Marc] Cucurella, it’s possible too. Both of them cannot play as the middle central defender. So we could use one more central defender. Let’s see what happens.

Tuchel began smirking when a reporter tried to force a Fofana comment out of him


Tuchel began smirking when a reporter tried to force a Fofana comment out of him

“I think we could use and strengthen our squad in depth and strength. But it’s one thing that you wish for and another that is possible. It needs to be possible.

“We are looking for top quality, top personalities, good characters and competitors on the highest levels. You don’t always get what you wish for, and that’s why we are calm and ambitious at the same time. There are quite some days to go until the end of the transfer period. Everything is possible until the end.”

Not only are Chelsea light at the back, but also upfront, having sent record signing Lukaku back to Inter Milan at the start of the window, before allowing Werner to rejoin Leipzig.

Former Arsenal captain and current Barcelona striker Aubameyang has been linked with a move to Stamford Bridge, and has previously played under Tuchel at Borussia Dortmund.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to wear No.14 at Arsenal and says he wants to be the new Thierry Henry

‘Auba’ was unstoppable at Dortmund under Tuchel

And his old boss talked about him in glowing terms


And his old boss talked about him in glowing terms

The German coach refused to comment on links with a striker who scored 79 goals in 95 games for him, but was happy to talk about the player himself.

“I enjoyed a lot working with him, It was a pleasure,” Tuchel said. “This has nothing to do with the situation now, but players stay your players because you work very, very close. Auba is one of these players.

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“We had a very close relationship. Always when we played him here with Arsenal, there was always straight away this close bond. They always stay your players in a way, Auba is one of these guys.”

The 48-year-old was then asked about Aubameyang off the pitch, given he has been one of the storylines of the new documentary series ‘All or Nothing: Arsenal’.

A new episode has focused on him being stripped of the Gunners’ captaincy by Mikel Arteta for disciplinary reasons, Tuchel though, never had such problems.

Aubameyang and Arteta’s relationship soured after a series of disciplinary issues


Aubameyang and Arteta’s relationship soured after a series of disciplinary issues

“No concerns because I experienced none of this,” he said. “This is nothing to do with the situation in Arsenal, which I will also not comment on out of respect.

“It’s not on me to comment, and I don’t know what happened. In Dortmund, there was never an issue.

“I don’t follow the press about Pierre. Don’t be offended. I don’t follow the press very much. I don’t know if he has bad press or good press. I cannot care less. It’s not important. Nice try, but we don’t talk any further.

“I was very polite to talk about my time in Dortmund, but we don’t talk about a future with players that are not here. The future is in the next training tomorrow morning with all the players here in the dressing room. This is where the energy goes.”

Aubameyang could be available from Barcelona


Aubameyang could be available from Barcelona

Tuchel then went on to discuss the transfer window as a whole.

“It is what it is,” he said. “We will not panic, and we will not do things [for the sake of it].

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“We will not try to sign players that we are not 100 per cent convinced. All signings so far are fantastic signings that help us.

“To be very honest, it is day-by-day business now to coach the team which is here and not lose your head as a coach about what could be.

“What sense does it make if I lose my head in the office and think about players that are not here?

“We are ambitious and work hard to strengthen our squad further, but we are calm, all the energy and ambition goes into the group that is here. We still have time.”

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