Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel issues clear transfer warning to new Blues owners

Thomas Tuchel has urged Chelsea to be “fast and smart” in the transfer market ahead of next season’s “super-competitive” title race.

The Blues boss – set to lose Antonio Rudiger, Cesar Azpilicueta and Andreas Christensen – wants replacements in once Chelsea ’s transfer embargo ends and incoming owner Todd Boelhy buys the club from Roman Abramovich.

Tuchel, who will delay his summer holidays to rebuild his squad, said: “It will be a super tough race. Manchester United will be in it, Tottenham will be in the race with Antonio Conte for sure. So when, finally, we will have the chance to act and make up, we have to be fast and smart because the disadvantage in terms of timing for the rebuild is big.

“So no, it’s impossible. I cannot go on holiday, no. We want to stay in the race as Liverpool and Man City will do everything to make their squads bigger and they set the standard so high. They are a benchmark of consistency.

“We have clear ideas for the profiles and characteristics of the players we want. But you have to convince the player, you have to speak to other clubs and convince yourself this is the player, so there is normally a lot of work.”

Substitute Ross Barkley grabbed a 90th-minute winner – four minutes after Dan Gosling had equalised for the Hornets. Kai Havertz had opened the scoring for Chelsea with a 10th-minute strike. Tuchel revealed he’d paid tribute beforehand to Watford boss Roy Hodgson and referee Mike Dean, both of whom have now retired.

“We did [make a presentation],” he said. “It was on me to show my respect and appreciation. I told them I am honoured to be part of their last match.”

Hodgson later confirmed he would not be tempted back after his spell at relegated Watford.

“Maybe £100m a year might tempt me back!” He joked. “I think my wife and my son might push me into it but I think I’ll be safe.”

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