homas Tuchel wants ‘no excuses or distractions’ once the transfer window closes for his wantaway Chelsea stars, with several of his squad aiming to leave the club ahead of deadline day on Thursday.
Hakim Ziyech, Christian Pulisic and Callum Hudson-Odoi are among the players who have had transfer interest across the summer window, largely seeing them left out of Tuchel’s starting line ups.
However, with the window to close on Thursday night, Tuchel admits he is looking forward to having his players focus and give ‘100 percent commitment.’
“At the moment, I accept it’s like this,” Tuchel said. “But from September 1 there are no more excuses and no more distractions.
“I am very, very happy when the transfer window is over because then we have different leverage to push players and then the commitment has to be 100%, we will not accept 99%.
“The reality is that sometimes, in the last days of the window, you have to simply accept it no matter what you wish for. It’s the reality.”
Meanwhile, Wesley Fofana is having his medical today after his £70million transfer from Leicester City to Chelsea, with further bonuses available that could make it a world record fee for a defender.
In addition, there’s continued interest in Barcelona’s Pierre Emerick Aubameyang, Everton’s Anthony Gordon and Crystal Palace’s Wilfred Zaha as attacking signings before deadline day.
It could see the club spend beyond £300m, which would be a world record sum over a single summer. Tuchel thinks the spending is necessary for his side’s goals and is hoping more deals can be agreed.
“Right now I think we could need some more players in some positions, but it’s very close to the end of the transfer window and when September 1 comes, I will be a happy coach no matter what happens,” he continued.
“I will try to find solutions and not think about what might have happened or what could have been.”
Chelsea won’t have Fofana signed in time for the upcoming match St Mary’s and have an injury to N’Golo Kante to contend with.
Kalidou Koulibaly returns after his red card at Leeds but Conor Gallagher is the latest to earn a suspension. With line up decisions to make after a battling win over Leicester, Tuchel knows his side have to improve to take all three points against Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side.
“I had the chance to watch the game of Southampton [against Manchester United] live and saw a very strong side,” he added.
“I have a lot of respect for Ralph and we have played against each other a lot of times and he is a very nice person and a very good coach and his fingerprints are all over this Southampton team every year.
“They had a huge turnaround at Leicester to win the game and you could see they gained a lot of confidence from it. They conceded but they had a lot of touches in the box, a lot of shots against Manchester United and were very mobile upfront.
“What you can always expect in Southampton is a physical game, a running game, a high-intensity game. This is what it is. We need to recover well and be well prepared to repeat what we did last season.”
“It will be better to be on the sideline than in the stands.”