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Erling Haaland and Dayot Upamecano transfers could hinge on Thomas Tuchel changing Chelsea tune

Thomas Tuchel has been asked at almost every press conference since he took over the job from Frank Lampard about Chelsea’s pursuit of the Champions League places.

Lampard was ditched with the Blues in ninth place following a run of five defeats in eight games and were 11 points off top of the table, at the time, Manchester United.

Since Tuchel arrived, he has steered the side to four unbeaten games, three of them victories, which has propelled the team up to fifth place, one point behind Liverpool who sit fourth and occupy the final Champions League spot for next season.

The 47-year-old was appointed with the gambit from Marina Granovskaia to get the Blues into the top four come the end of the season and competing once again at Europe’s top table in 2021/22. Winning the FA Cup would be a welcome bonus but getting in that top four is imperative.

Not least because it can attract players this summer, with the Blues linked with moves for Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland and RB Leipzig centre half Dayot Upamecano. Neither of those players would consider moving to west London to play Europa League football.

Whether Tuchel truly believes the Blues’ impact in the market next summer, which is sure to be another relatively low-spending one like January, is dependent on their Champions League qualification isn’t known but the German head coach continues to bat it away.

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Most recently, after the win over Sheffield United, he was asked again about it and he said: “What would it help to talk about it?

“It is clear that we are responsible now for a situation where we are close to where we want to be. We want to try everything to reach the top four and we said this very clear when we started.

“So now the guys put themselves in the situation where we are the hunters for the teams in front of us and we are close.

“It changes…

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