Chelsea could be about to benefit from transfer guru Michael Edwards’ decision to leave Liverpool at the start of the summer, so long as they can surpass two hurdles to bring him to Stamford Bridge. The Blues are thought to be chasing the 42-year-old in an effort to revamp their transfer set-up, with new owner Todd Boehly currently heading up negotiations.
The shake-up at Chelsea runs much deeper than just squad changes. Roman Abramovich’s ordeal with UK Government sanctions saw him forced into selling the club, while trusted transfer chief Marina Granovskaia followed him out of the door.
Boehly, who has never owned a Premier League club before, is currently in charge of transfer negotiations during a summer of major transformation under Thomas Tuchel. The defence has been a particularly troublesome area to tackle, although Kalidou Koulibaly could soon be joined by Marc Cucurella in the crop of new signings to bolster the back-line.
Things could step up another notch if they bring in Liverpool’s former sporting director. Edwards masterminded a number of successful deals during his time with the Reds, including those that saw Andy Robertson, Virgil van Dijk and Mohamed Salah head to Anfield.
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Furthermore, there is the issue of how much power and control Edwards is given. Naturally, the more freedom he would have to orchestrate another project on a huge budget, the more likely he would be to accept the proposal, but it would be an almighty risk to hand him total control if his views don’t match up to those of Tuchel.
While the German and Boehly have made some progress this summer, with Aston Villa youngster Carney Chukwuemeka expected to be announced as the latest arrival, Tuchel is outspoken in his desire for more signings. Having been hammered by local rivals Arsenal in pre-season, the boss hardly gave a glowing assessment of his current crop and insisted that they could not be competitive as it stands.
“We deserved to lose because we were simply not good enough,” he admitted. “We were not competitive. The worrying part is the level of commitment, physically and mentally. It was far higher for Arsenal than us.
“I don’t know if I ever lost a match in preseason 4-0. I cannot remember not winning two matches in a row in a pre-season. I am a huge fan of a strong pre-season for everything: the atmosphere, the feeling, the performance, the belief. I absolutely do not believe that a bad pre-season means a good season. That makes no sense. It’s not a moment to destroy my group – this is an honest analysis of the game.”
The Blues recovered by beating Udinese 3-1 in their next warm-up match, while their Premier League campaign gets underway at Everton on Saturday.