Thomas Tuchel has said he “never had an issue” with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and insists he retains a “close bond” with the striker.
Reports in the last week have claimed Chelsea are interested in reuiniting Tuchel and Aubameyang at Stamford Bridge.
The Gabon international scored a whopping 79 goals in 95 games under the German boss in their time together at Borussia Dortmund and could be the answer to Chelsea’s lack of goalscoring options this season.
A report on Friday claimed Tuchel ‘insists’ on Aubemeyang and is ‘putting pressure’ on Boehly to force a deal with Barcelona.
The report explains that Barca boss Xavi sees the striker as ‘non-transferable’ and ‘vetoes a possible transfer of Aubameyang’, though the club’s financial strife may leave them with no option but to let him go.
Chelsea ‘continue betting’ on the former Arsenal striker despite Xavi’s stance and they have ‘begun to draw up a plan to sign him’.
And Tuchel did little to dampen the rumours of Chelsea’s interest in his press conference on Friday, insisting “it was a pleasure” to work with Aubameyang.
Asked about a potential deal for the striker, Tuchel said: “I enjoyed working with him a lot, it was a pleasure. I’ve never had any issue.
“Some players stay your players, as you are very close. Auba is one of them players. Even when we played Arsenal, straight away it was a close bond”.
Chelsea are also in desperate need of further centre-back reinforcements this summer following the departure of both Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger, whose contracts expired at the end of last season.
They’re reportedly locked in talks with Leicester over a fee for Wesley Fofana, who is keen on a move to Stamford Bridge, though it’s thought the Blues would require a world-record offer for a defender to persuade the Foxes to part with the 21-year-old.
Tuchel confirmed Chelsea are looking for one more centre-back, but refused to be drawn on the Fofana speculation.
He added: “I’m sorry but I will not comment. No matter how good your question will be… I will not comment.”
Asked if there was a cut-off point for Leicester to consider any bids, Foxes boss Brendan Rodgers said yesterday: “That will be up to the ownership, the end decision will be down to them.
“Even now, it would be late in terms of looking to get in replacements, but it’s certainly something that the later it goes on then the more difficult it becomes.
“Another year here for him at least would be really important for his development, but he is quite calm and relaxed in the situation.
“He is aware of the interest. He understands where we are as a club and where we see him. He’s just getting on with his work and training well, and whenever there is any communication we are able to have a conversation.”