Soccer

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel delivers updates on Aubameyang and Cucurella transfers

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Thomas Tuchel hopes Chelsea can complete a deal for Marc Cucurella by midday today in order for him to be in contention to make his debut this weekend. The 48-year-old has also spoken on reported interest in Barcelona striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Chelsea have agreed a deal with Brighton to sign Cucurella. The Spaniard is set to move to Stamford Bridge for a fee of around £52.5million.

Meanwhile, Chelsea are said to be keen on signing Aubameyang following the departure of Romelu Lukaku back to Inter Milan. Aubameyang excelled under Tuchel at Borussia Dortmund, scoring 79 goals in 95 appearances before the German was sacked in 2017.

Tuchel joke he would welcome that goal tally at the club. But he insisted he would not comment on the speculation.

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Speaking at his press conference, Tuchel said: “I would be interested in the 79 goals actually! We will not comment further.

“There are a lot of names out there. Sometimes it is because we discuss a lot of names and sometimes it is pure speculation. We will not get involved.”

Aubameyang only left Arsenal to join Barca in January. He was stripped of the captaincy at the Emirates after repeated disciplinary issues.

He has had a fine start to life at the Nou Camp, scoring 13 goals in 23 appearances. However, the arrival of Robert Lewandowski could reduce his game time.

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Meanwhile, Chelsea have beaten Manchester City to the signing of Cucurella. If the paperwork is completed by midday on Friday, he would be available for the season opener against Everton on Saturday.

Tuchel hopes that is the case and has explained why he has pursued the Spaniard. Tuchel said: “It’s not done yet. The paperwork is in process and hopefully we can get it finished before noon and Marc is our player.

“Marc is a fantastic player, young player. He’s young, hungry, mobile, very intelligent player in several positions in our system. That’s why we hope that the transfer goes through.”

Cucurella has had just one season in the Premier League, making 35 appearances and scoring one goal against Manchester United. He joined Brighton from Getafe last summer for a fee of around £15m.

Tuchel was also full of praise for new owner Todd Boehly at his press conference in what has been a difficult few months for the club. He said of the American: “New ownership and stepping into the transfer market is maybe one of the toughest things you can do.

“I don’t know when they sleep, maybe they never sleep, but we have an open and honest line of communication. We have a delay because of the sanctions and that led to the loss of key players.

“But both of the owners involved in the daily business have done a fantastic job so far.”

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