Chelsea are not interested in appointing Thomas Tuchel to replace Antonio Conte despite reports in Germany suggesting the Blues were considering changing managers.
Bild claimed the Blues were set to approach the former Borussia Dortmund manager to replace the Italian, who has voiced his frustration at a lack of progress in the transfer window.
However, the Blues have rejected such suggestions and insist they are still fully behind the manager, who signed a new deal this summer – although that only included a pay rise and no extension.
Conte has succeeded in bringing in four first-team signings this summer but has frequently bemoaned what he perceives to be a refusal to show ambition in the transfer market after seeing Manchester City’s spending spree and PSG smash the world record transfer fee for Neymar.
Chelsea still intend to back their manager in the market by bringing in at least three more players, with the possibility of a fourth not ruled out.
Wing-backs, central midfielders and strikers are all being considered while a late bid to try and prise Virgil van Dijk from Southampton is also being considered, though their separate pursuit of Cedric Soares could yet affect their probability of a deal.
Rumours of an attempt to bring in Tuchel have been laughed off, with Sunday’s 2-1 win at Tottenham and the post-match display of unity on the Wembley pitch mocked the suggestion he is unhappy at Chelsea.
The Blues are planning for the 2017/18 season with Conte at the helm and believe he is the man who can guide them to Champions League glory, with significant funds expected to be spent in the final throes of the transfer window.
Soares, Antonio Candreva and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain represent right wing-back targets, while Alex Sandro and Ryan Bertrand are options on the other side.
Danny Drinkwater remains the club’s principal midfield target but a £40m price tag may yet prove prohibitive to a deal and Chelsea are exploring other options in central midfield, which has become a priority area for strengthening despite David Luiz’s auspicious midfield cameo against Spurs.
And Conte will be the driving force behind the attempts to bolster his playing squad in the remaining eight days of the transfer window, with Blues director Marina Granovskaia – supposedly championing a move for Tuchel – and Michael Emenalo assisting the manager.
There’s no suggestion they are working against him, as they try and help to deliver the players who head up the manager’s shortlist.