Football News

“They are doing a fantastic job” – Thomas Tuchel hits back at Gary Neville after ‘panicky’ transfer comment

By Harry Edwards

Published: 15:22, 5 August 2022

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has hit back at comments made by Gary Neville about the club acting ‘panicky’ in the summer transfer window.

The Blues are experiencing their first summer under new ownership, with Todd Boehly taking over and also conducting a lot of their transfer business following the departure of Marina Granovskaia.

Chelsea recently confirmed the signing of Marc Cucurella from Brighton for a reportedly £62m, with Tuchel saying before the deal was officially announced: “He is a fantastic, young player. Hungry, mobile, very intelligent player.

“He can play several positions in our system and that’s why we hope the transfer goes through.”

Cucurella is Chelsea’s fourth first-team arrival this summer, with the Blues also paying big money for Raheem Sterling, Kalidou Koulibaly and Carney Chukwuemeka.

But the Blues have been linked with a lot more players over the summer, looking to rebuild having lost Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen to Real Madrid and Barcelona on free transfers respectively, while Romelu Lukaku was allowed to return to Inter Milan on loan.

Chelsea have failed in their attempts to sign Raphinha, Ousmane Dembele, Robert Lewandowski and Jules Kounde among others, with the latter looking almost certain to join the London club before moving to Barcelona.

They are now being linked with Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong, who is also a target of Manchester United, as well as Leicester City’s Wesley Fofana who could cost a world-record fee for a centre-back if reports are to be believed.

And Chelsea’s transfer activity this summer has brought them criticism from former Man Utd defender Gary Neville.

“The American guy Boehly, looks like he wants to play football manager,” Neville said on The Overlap.

“He’s wandering around a little bit and they’re a bit panicky now. They’re almost like bouncing around because it feels like he has to do something.

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“You’re wondering, ‘Oh they’re coming in for De Jong this morning’, because he feels like he has to do something, that pressure is on him.

“He wouldn’t have had that pressure if he’d have kept the people that have been there before and just let them operate for a year or two, but it’ll be an interesting season for Chelsea.”

However, Tuchel has hit back at Neville’s remarks, admitting the club are having to play catch up after previously being unable to conduct transfer business before the sale to Boehly.

“Panicking? No, I would describe it as super hard working and learning while new on the job,” he told reporters.

“There is a lot going on. New ownership and then stepping into the transfer market is probably one of the toughest things you can do when coming from outside.

“But I have nothing but the biggest respect and compliments for both Todd and Behdad [Eghbali] I don’t know when they sleep, maybe they never sleep. We have a very honest, very open, very direct line of communication and the transfers so far speak for themselves.

“We have a delay, of course. We had the delay because of the sanctions and the sanctions led to the loss of key players (Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen). But like I said, both of the owners are involved in the daily business, they are doing a fantastic job so far and the transfer market speaks for itself.”