Whether or not Chelsea go on to win the Champions League this season, Thomas Tuchel is already planning for life in 2022/23.
Manchester City have stormed ahead of the Blues in the Premier League after a series of brilliant performances.
That could well have been expected, though after their European success last season, based on a solid defence, Chelsea were thought to be one of the favourites for the English top-flight crown.
The way in which they’ve dropped away will be a concern for Tuchel, and it’s perhaps with that in mind that it appears he’s looking ahead.
One player that’s been consistently linked with the Stamford Bridge outfit is their former academy star, Declan Rice.
Captain of West Ham, the England international has been head and shoulders above his team-mates in East London for a while now, and in the absence of any proper investment in players from the club, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him move on.
A switch to Chelsea has obvious cachet for the player, however, it’s potentially a deal that’s doomed to failure.
The Evening Standard report that Tuchel’s willingness to integrate Conor Gallagher into the first XI picture next season, after his loan at Crystal Palace officially ends, places doubts over whether Rice will actually be needed after all.
There’s little doubt that Roman Abramovich will be able to afford Rice should he get the nod from the German that he wants to go all-in, however, Tuchel’s current insouciance could let in other potential suitors, Manchester United.