Tuchel On Koulibaly Signing, Ronaldo Rumours And Sterling’s First Days

From the official Chelsea FC website:

Thomas Tuchel has provided an update on Kalidou Koulibaly as well as the speculation linking us with Cristiano Ronaldo and the first days of Raheem Sterling’s Chelsea career.

The Blues boss was speaking at a press conference at the Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas following our short flight from Los Angeles and immediately prior to open training at the stadium.

Given the transfer window remains open and rumours are rife, he was asked first to discuss how those transfer plans were progressing.

‘We’re working on more numbers,’ he said. ‘Everybody is wishing to have the complete team in pre-season but this almost never happens. We’re working on it as fast as possible but at the same time we’re relaxed.

‘We know what we have to offer and we’re also focused on the players who are here because in general that’s the most important.’

Speaking on Koulibaly specifically after the Senegal international’s signing was confirmed, Tuchel added: ‘I’m very happy with him signing and joining our team.

‘He’s now the second signing of the summer and again we have a strong player, a strong personality with big experience. From our point of view, he’s a perfect addition to the group.’

Another recent addition to the squad is Sterling, who will train in front of supporters for the first time at the stadium session. Tuchel revealed he has settled in well in the camp with his new team-mates, albeit on a lighter training programme.

‘He’s on an individual programme and did not join the team because the team is two weeks ahead of him in intense double training sessions,’ he explained.

‘It’s not the moment where he joins full team training for every minute. It’s still pretty demanding but on a different level to everyone else.’

The German was also asked about what the England winger brings to the group and whether he might feature in tomorrow’s friendly against Club America.

‘It’s pretty obvious what he delivers and that’s exactly what you see on the pitch,’ he continued.

‘I have the feeling that he’s ready, absolutely happy to be here and it’s a new chapter for his career. It’s been a relaxed first few days.

‘For tomorrow, we have not decided yet the line-up but he hasn’t trained with the team so it’s not very likely that he will play.’

Ronaldo had been linked with a move to Stamford Bridge earlier this summer but Tuchel would not be drawn on discussing our pursuit for the Manchester United striker, instead insisting that our top attacking target had been secured.

‘He’s a fantastic player for another fantastic club in the Premier League but out of respect we don’t comment on these players because we don’t like other coaches to speak about our players,’ he added.

‘This is where it has to stay. We focused on our top target Raheem Sterling who we could sign and everything else stays behind closed doors.’





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