Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has admitted he will always have a “close relationship” with transfer target Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
The German did not turn off links with the 33-year-old, with The Blues are ready to sign the Gabon international if Barcelona allow him to leave this month.
Tuchel has managed Aubameyang at Borussia Dortmund and admits that he still has a strong interest in him.
“This is completely separate from whatever is happening right now, but I enjoyed working with Auba while at Dortmund,” said Tuchel.
“Some players stay in your play because you’re very, very close. And Auba is one of those players.
“There’s always an immediate bond. They’re always after your players.”
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta was forced to deal with the issue that led to Aubameyang’s move to Barcelona last season, following a series of disciplinary issues and apparently leaving.
Emphasizing his strong relationship with Aubameyang in Germany, Tuchel added: “I don’t have a problem with him, but this has nothing to do with the situation at Arsenal, on that I would also No comment out of respect.
“In Dortmund there are never problems.”
Meanwhile, Arteta defended Aubameyang’s removal as Arsenal captain last season but hopes he will receive a good reception from Gunners fans if he joins Chelsea.
“It’s been a long time since that happened, I can’t go back when there’s another series,” Arteta said of the Aubameyang captaincy story ahead of Saturday’s game against Leicester.
“I’ve been clear and honest in my opinion. What I’ve done is to protect our club and be as clear and honest as possible.
“Auba is an outstanding player, he has done so much for us and we have to be grateful for what he has done for this club.
“I hope he does [get a good reception from Arsenal fans] because he deserves it. There are moments in your career where the individual trajectory is different from the club’s. “
Tuchel declined to comment on Fofana .
Tuchel also did not comment on speculation about Leicester defender Wesley Fofana, with the Blues having been turned down twice for the Frenchman.
Chelsea are still a long way off in valuing Fofana with a second bid for the 21-year-old worth around £60m, but Leicester are only interested in an offer close to a record fee paid for a defender. – 80 million pounds that Manchester. United paid for Harry Maguire three years ago.
Sky Sports News It was reported earlier this week that Chelsea are preparing a larger offer in the coming days, which will be much closer to Leicester’s valuation.
Tuchel has made the transfer of Fofana a priority this summer, but Leicester are reluctant to sell him, and feel his value will only increase over the next few years.
Leicester will be increasingly reluctant to sell as the transfer deadline approaches.
When asked about Fofana, Tuchel replied: “I won’t comment. We could have used another centre-back, if you look at the numbers, given the fact that now we play with a formation of three. defender”.
“And the profile of those in the back three is a bit different, I admit, we’re playing with Cesar Azpilicueta, who’s more of a full-back in the back three, and Marc Cucurella is similar in that. 3rd defense.
“But they are not centre-backs, so we could do with one more, but let’s see what happens.
“I think we can use and strengthen our squad in terms of power and depth, in both, but that’s one thing you want and what’s possible.
“It needs to be able, we’re looking for high-quality, personable and good characters.
“You don’t always get what you want, that’s why we are calm and ambitious at the same time. But there are still quite a few days until the transfer window is over.”
‘Alonso completes Barca transfer’
Tuchel also confirmed Marcos Alonso will miss Sunday’s Premier League clash with Tottenham, while trying to finalize his move to Barcelona.
Tuchel said: “Marcos is not currently training and trying to complete the transfer process. “So he won’t be free.
“Mateo Kovacic also had a problem with his knee, so we decided to take a step back, increase the training time and have no further reaction, but he will be missing.”
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