Chelsea may delay Barry’s Bayern move over possible Champions League clash

·3-min read
<span>Photograph: Tony Obrien/Reuters</span>
Photograph: Tony Obrien/Reuters

Graham Potter has suggested that Anthony Barry’s move to Bayern Munich could be delayed until after a potential Champions League semi-final between Chelsea and the German champions.

Bayern are in talks with Chelsea over the assistant coach, who wants to join Thomas Tuchel’s staff. But the clubs are some way apart on compensation and an added complication is that they are on the same side of the draw in the Champions League.

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Chelsea made clear they were disappointed with Tuchel after their former manager spoke about wanting to work with Barry again. Potter’s predecessor, who was sacked by Chelsea last September, did so again on Friday. Barry has stayed away from training this week.

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Tuchel, who replaced Julian Nagelsmann at Bayern last week, had great success with Barry at Stamford Bridge and has given his old club a headache. Although the expectation remains that Barry will leave there is a chance Chelsea could put him on gardening leave first.

Potter hinted at that when he suggested he would not want Bayern to have access to Barry’s insight on Chelsea if both sides make it past the Champions League quarter-finals. Chelsea are underdogs against Real Madrid, the defending champions, and Bayern face Manchester City.

“It’s something that’s in the conversation for obvious reasons,” Potter said. “Anthony is in discussions, the clubs are in discussions. He’s not with us at the moment while things are getting resolved. It’s not something I’m involved in. I have huge respect for Anthony – a fantastic coach and person. These things happen in life and football. We have good staff here that can fill the gap. There’s not a direct replacement for anybody but the collective can fill in.”

Bayern believe that appointing Tuchel, who won the Champions League with Chelsea in 2021, will boost their chances of beating City. Tuchel’s first game comes at home to Borussia Dortmund in a top-of-the-table clash on Saturday.

Tuchel’s availability played a part in Bayern, who are monitoring Mason Mount’s situation at Chelsea, sacking Nagelsmann. Tuchel had struggled at Chelsea to connect with the new owners, who sacked him less than 24 hours after defeat at Dinamo Zagreb in the Champions League.

Thomas Tuchel oversees a Bayern Munich training session this week.
Thomas Tuchel oversees a Bayern Munich training session this week. Photograph: Sven Hoppe/AP

“It was a shock,” Tuchel said on Friday. “I felt it, strangely, when I drove to the training centre. The meeting we had felt unusual – and it turned out to be a very short meeting. It was 8am, or something, and it lasted three to five minutes. I was also not in the mood to talk longer.

“The decision had been made and, honestly, it was a shock for all of us. We had a feeling that we were in the right spot at the right time. We felt that we could achieve big things and we wanted to stay longer. We had big relationships, huge relationships within the staff. We still do. How long did it take me to get over? It still hurts in a way.

“We built an extraordinary bond in the circumstances. We started there during Covid, during Brexit – then came the change of ownership. We were a strong, strong group. It wasn’t in my hands to take this decision. I was no longer part of a group that felt like a family.”