Crisis club Chelsea could lose Thomas Tuchel, Romelu Lukaku and all out-of-contract players - Paper Round
Inter Milan may try to secure the return of Romelu Lukaku on loan from Chelsea, who may be prevented from offering new deals to players whose contracts are running out, and Thomas Tuchel could switch to Manchester United as crisis engulfs Stamford Bridge. Elsewhere, Paris Saint-Germain could also have a summer clearout.
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 29: Head Coach Thomas Tuchel has words with Romelu Lukaku during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Brighton & Hove Albion at Stamford Bridge on December 29, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Robin Jones/Getty Images)
Spanish newspaper Marca reports that Inter Milan will try to re-sign Romelu Lukaku from Chelsea after the London club descended into a potential crisis following the ban on their sale. There are a couple of problems, which is that Chelsea are unlikely to be willing to take a hit on their 115 million outlay, so a loan may be attempted instead, and the Belgian will have to reduce his salary from 12.5m euros a season to 7.5m plus add-ons.
Paper Round’s view: Lukaku has already annoyed his current club and its fans with a provocative interview earlier in the season, and his form is also fairly unimpressive. With the club perhaps searching for money for somewhere while they are cut off from Roman Abramovich, they might welcome a quick sale back to Inter, or at least a loan to cut their wage spend.
The Telegraph reports that Chelsea are pleading with the government to be released from some of the current restrictions placed upon them following the freezing of Roman Abramovich’s assets. As a result of the freeze, Chelsea cannot sign any players, nor can they extend player contracts, which is tough as Antonio Rudiger, Cesar Azpilicueta and Andreas Christensen are all out of contract.
Paper Round’s view: While Chelsea have thousands of fans who will be affected by the problems at their club, we should remember that they have been heartily signing Abramovich’s name during the war in Ukraine.
Kylian Mbappe is set to join Real Madrid on a free transfer and Angel Di Maria is likely to leave at the end of his deal, reports The Mirror. However Paris Saint-Germain are keen for a squad renewal after their Champions League defeat and the Mail suggests that all of Leandro Paredes, Idrissa Gueye, Thilo Kehrer, Layvin Kurzawa, Julian Draxler and Ander Herrera are at risk.
Paper Round’s view: PSG have amassed a number of players who are occasionally excellent but not quite of the required quality to challenge for the Champions League. If they are willing to sell so many of these players, then perhaps Leonardo should not be left in charge with the chequebook, because the squad still seems to lack both quality and heart.
The Sun claims that Manchester United are aiming to announce their next manager in April, despite the fact that Paris Saint-Germain’s Mauricio Pochettino and Ajax’s Erik ten Hag - the frontrunners - are both still employed. Other options include Thomas Tuchel who could be unsettled at Chelsea, while Carlo Ancelotti and Zinedine Zidane could both be options for next season.
Paper Round’s view: United are always the same, rushing from one candidate to the next, and if that shortlist of options is right, then there has been no progress. The five candidates have no common thread, and there is no suggestion it will be tied in with sensible transfer spending over the next season or two. Ralf Rangnick is not being considered, but he may not want to stay at this rate.