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Chelsea boss Tuchel ‘not concerned’ by Abramovich sanctions


Norwich (United Kingdom) (AFP) – Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel insisted he is not concerned by the sanctions on Blues owner Roman Abramovich that plunged the European champions into turmoil on Thursday.

Abramovich was one of seven oligarchs targeted by the British government following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The Russian billionaire’s UK assets have been frozen, with strict restrictions placed on Chelsea, who are currently not allowed to sign new players, renew contracts or sell match tickets.

“Actually, I’m not sure I am concerned but I am aware of it. It changes almost every day,” Tuchel said before Chelsea’s Premier League match at Norwich.

“It is a big change from yesterday to today. At the moment it seems on the football side it is almost protected.

“I know there is a lot of noise around. I don’t have another answer for you.”

Chelsea’s main shirt sponsor, mobile phone company Three, responded to the sanctions by saying they were temporarily suspending their deal and asked for their logo be removed from team shirts.

Abramovich had already announced he was willing to sell Chelsea, with a host of potential buyers declaring their interest in a club which has won 19 major trophies since the Russian bought them in 2003.

But there has been speculation that Tuchel might quit the club given their suddenly turbulent situation.

The German, who was hired by Abramovich in 2021, insists he remains happy at the west London club.

“I am still happy to be here and still happy to be manager of a strong team,” he said.

“I feel privileged to have the chance to be involved in games, coaching and football that I love.”

The Blues are currently third in the Premier League and are still in contention in the Champions League last 16 and FA Cup quarter-finals.

Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta admitted it had been an unusual day for the players, but he called on his team-mates to focus on their own performances rather than the off-field chaos.

“Well, you know, I have to admit that this has not been a normal day. But we cannot control this matter,” Azpilicueta said.

“In the Premier League we know how difficult it is to get points and we have to forget about the stuff that is happening outside.”

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