Four players Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel will target as takeover set to be finalised

Tuchel confirms Rudiger set to leave Chelsea

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Thomas Tuchel will be looking to sign up to four new players for Chelsea this summer when the club’s takeover finally goes through. The Blues are likely to discover the identity of their new owners by the end of the season and the German boss will require at least two new signings due to pending departures.

Tuchel confirmed Antonio Rudiger would be leaving the club on a free transfer last week after failing to agree terms on a new deal. The 28-year-old is poised to join Real Madrid on a long-term contract while Andreas Christensen looks set to follow him to Spain by penning a deal with Barcelona.

That means defensive reinforcements will be at the top of the 48-year-old’s shopping list when the club is sold to new owners, with three parties led by Todd Boehly, Stephen Pagliuca and Sir Martin Broughton battling to take control. And whichever party is successful, they will have to prove their commitment fairly quickly by reaching into their pockets to hand Tuchel the funds for new signings.

Express Sport looks at four potential arrivals at Stamford Bridge ahead of the summer transfer window…

Jules Kounde

Chelsea had made capturing Jules Kounde their top priority last summer once Romelu Lukaku had signed, only to see their attempts to negotiate a fee with Sevilla end in failure. But now that the urgency of signing a quality centre-back has increased, the Blues are unlikely to argue for the sake of a few millions.

The 23-year-old has endured a mixed campaign with the La Liga outfit, making 37 appearances for Julen Lopetegui’s side this season and generally looking solid in the back four. But his indiscipline will raise some concerns, with three red cards for club and country this season.

Still, his versatility and composure on the ball make him an ideal fit for Tuchel’s back three and, with a £50m price tag, Chelsea will have to stump up a big fee to get their man. But with Christensen’s imminent exit, the club cannot afford to risk missing out on Tuchel’s top target again.

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Christopher Nkunku

Amid doubts surrounding Lukaku’s future at Stamford Bridge after only nine months in west London, Tuchel may be on the lookout for a new forward. And the name on every manager’s shortlist this summer is likely to be RB Leipzig’s star striker Christopher Nkunku.

The 24-year-old has hit 17 goals in the Bundesliga and another seven in the Champions League to highlight his meteoric rise in Germany. Reports suggest Leipzig are ready to cash in this summer for around £70m and claim Chelsea are keeping tabs on his situation.

The club may have reservations about laying down a sizeable fee on a striker who cannot stop scoring in the Bundesliga, having watched Timo Werner struggle in his first two seasons at the club. But Nkunku is cut from a different cloth and tends to lead the forward line with more a more dynamic rather than explosive appproch, which may fit Tuchel’s 3-4-3 plan better than his current options in attack.

Josko Gvardiol

Marcelo Bielsa tried to sign him for Leeds last summer before he headed to RB Leipzig. And if Josko Gvardiol continues to shine, there will be bigger clubs of Chelsea’s ilk moving for the Croatian starlet in the upcoming transfer window.

The 20-year-old plays on the left side of a back three and his forays into the opposition half are hauntingly similar to Rudiger’s marauding runs. Not only is he athletic and confident with the ball at his feet, Gvardiol is never afraid to get stuck in and Tuchel is understood to be a huge fan of his work.

Sky Germany suggest he is one of two signings that has been requested, along with Kounde, when the takeover is complete. However, it is believed Leipzig are reluctant to allow the youngster to depart as he does not have a release clause in his contract and is content with life in Germany. But the lure of playing for the European champions could sway his opinion if the Premier League side make their move.

Aurelien Tchouameni

Given Chelsea’s options in midfield and the return of Conor Gallagher from his loan spell at Crystal Palace in May, adding a new central midfielder will not be top of Tuchel’s to-do list. But it cannot be ignored for too long due to the form of Ngolo Kante in recent weeks.

Injuries and the sheer number of games he has played have taken a toll on Kante’s fitness levels and he has been carefully managed by Tuchel as to not burn out the Frenchman. Signing an understudy like Aurelien Tchouameni, who currently plays for AS Monaco, may be a signing made with the future in mind.

The 22-year-old already has four caps for France and his high energy displays in the midfield for the Monegasques has earned him admirers from PSG, Real Madrid and Manchester United. It was reported back in March that Tchouameni could head to Real after Chelsea were hit with sanctions, but the fact a deal is yet to materialise could give the Blues some encouragement to draw up an agreement in the coming weeks.

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