Making Raheem Sterling ‘priority’ signing and Chelsea’s ‘intense’ new era

“It’s not my favorite thing to do and in the long run the focus has to be on coaching because it is why I am here,” said Tuchel. “But, at the moment, of course my help is needed and wanted, and it is, of course, necessary that I step up and take the responsibility.

“I am in contact with Todd directly on a daily basis and sometimes more than once on a daily basis because we are aware that we have a club in transition and change. My concern is for the team to be competitive and for this we have to invest a lot of time and we need to be hands on. There is no other way.

“We compete not only against the best teams, but also against the best managers. We need to be competitive and replace big players and infuse quality. I think it’s important for everybody at Cobham to take a little bit more responsibility, not only for me.”

New signing Raheem Sterling was one of the first names Tuchel presented to Boehly after the takeover went through, with Romelu Lukaku’s return to Inter Milan on loan the first big exit the pair worked on together.

‘He was the absolute number one for that position’

Tuchel gave the green light for Lukaku to leave, just 12 months after becoming Chelsea’s £97.5 million club record signing, once the striker made it clear that his desire was to go back to Inter.

“There has never been a meeting where I said ‘I want this guy out’,” said Tuchel. “Never. I was always clear – if he stays we will do everything to put him in a better place, to put him in a better shape, to improve my style of coaching, our style of playing, to make him a better fit.

“It was always a possibility he stayed, but Romelu made it very clear he wanted to leave and the owners took the decision to make the decision straight away.

“Disappointed is the wrong word. I don’t know a better word in English. It feels like I take it personally – it’s never personal. I am not happy that we couldn’t bring more out of him. Maybe it would have just taken a bit more time. A bit more fitness, a bit more adaptation in our game. Who knows? But we will not find out. Once Romelu gave his clear opinion on the situation and there was a solution on the table, the owners made their choice and had my blessing.”

Just as Lukaku left with Tuchel’s blessing, Sterling arrived with a ringing endorsement from his new manager who put the forward at the very top of his summer wish-list.

“He was the absolute number one for that position. I gave his name to Todd straight away,” said Tuchel before being asked to pinpoint the exact moment he had decided he wanted Sterling.

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