Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel hits back at Gary Neville over Todd Boehly comments


    Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel hits back at Gary Neville over Todd Boehly comments
    The owner was accused of ‘playing Football Manager’ with the club (Pictures: The Overlap / Getty)

    Thomas Tuchel has hit back at Gary Neville’s criticism of Chelsea co-owner Todd Boehly, saying the American businessman is working tirelessly to improve the club’s squad.

    The west Londoners have already signed Kalidou Koulibaly and Raheem Sterling this summer and on Friday confirmed a £63million deal for Marc Cucurella – though they have also failed with a host of other high-profile transfer pursuits.

    Leeds United winger Raphinha snubbed a move to Stamford Bridge in favour of joining Barcelona, as did Sevilla’s Jules Kounde, while Matthijs de Ligt opted for Bayern Munich.

    Former Manchester United defender Neville was scathing in his assessment of Boehly, who has been acting as interim sporting director after the departure of Marina Granovskaia, and says Chelsea’s approach in the window has looked ‘panicky’.

    ‘The American guy Boehly looks like he wants to play Football Manager,’ said Neville on Sky Bet’s The Overlap earlier this week.

    ‘He’s wandering around a little bit and they’re a bit panicky now. They’re almost like bouncing around because it feels like he has to do something.

    ‘You’re wondering, “Oh they’re coming in for [Frenkie] de Jong this morning”, because he feels like he has to do something, that pressure is on him.

    Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel hits back at Gary Neville over Todd Boehly comments
    Boehly has been thrown in at the deep end this summer (Picture: Getty)

    ‘He wouldn’t have had that pressure if he’d have kept the people that have been there before and just let them operate for a year or two, but it’ll be an interesting season for Chelsea.’

    But Tuchel has flatly rejected suggestions that Boehly is out of his depth and is full of praise for the way the American has adapted to the task of signing players, while he feels the transfer window has been a big success so far.

    Asked about Neville’s criticism ahead of facing Everton, Tuchel said at his pre-match press conference on Friday: ‘Panicking? No, I would describe it as super hard-working and learning while new on the job.

    ‘So it’s pretty much going on, like new ownership and then stepping in the transfer market is maybe one of the toughest things you can do when you come from outside.

    ‘But I have nothing but the biggest respect and compliments for both Todd and [co-controlling owner] Behdad [Eghbali]. I don’t know when they sleep – maybe they never sleep!

    ‘But we have a very honest, very open, very direct line of communication and the transfers so far speak for themselves.

    ‘We have a delay, of course, nobody is guilty for that delay. We have the delay because of the sanctions and the sanctions led to the loss of key players.

    ‘But like I said, both of the owners who are involved in the daily business have done a fantastic job so far and the transfer market speaks for itself.’

    MORE : Thomas Tuchel speaks out on Chelsea’s Marc Cucurella deal and explains Levi Colwill loan

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