Thomas Tuchel set to be named new Chelsea boss and take charge of Wolves clash on Wednesday

James Robson
·3-min read
 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Thomas Tuchel is expected to take charge of his first game as Chelsea manager against Wolves tomorrow.

The German coach is already believed in London and set to be confirmed as Frank Lampard’s successor today.

It is believed he will sign an initial 18-month contract – taking him until the summer of 2022 – with the option of a further year.

Chelsea’s hierarchy had identified Tuchel as Roman Abramovich’s 11th permanent managerial appointment some time before Lampard was informed of the decision to terminate his contract.

They wanted to ensure he would be in place in time for the visit of Wolves before making yesterday’s announcement.

That was delayed as a result of Brexit and Covid-19 regulations, but there is confidence he will be able to sit in the dugout and begin a new era at Stamford Bridge tomorrow.

While the former Paris St-Germain manager will have to adhere to UK quarantine rules, he will be granted an exemption by the FA and allowed to enter Chelsea’s ‘bubble’ so long as he tests negative for coronavirus.

Chelsea spent last night finalising the terms of Tuchel’s deal and the 47-year-old has been left in no doubt about the expectations placed on him.

Lampard was sacked after failing to meet his pre-season remit of closing the gap at the top of the table.

The club made it clear to the legendary former midfielder last summer that a top four finish was not an acceptable minimum requirement.

There were concerns about his lack of experience – and lack of a plan going forward.

The form and confidence of a squad that the club’s hierarchy believe is capable of challenging at the top of the table, was also a factor.

Tuchel will be expected to turnaround the fortunes of expensive summer recruits and compatriots, Kai Havertz and Timo Werner. But it is understood issues within the playing staff went beyond that duo.

Yet a host of Chelsea players sent heartfelt messages to Lampard following his sacking, ranging from academy graduates Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham to new signings Ben Chilwell and Thiago Silva.

Lampard also broke his silence after he was summoned to an early morning meeting with chief Marina Granovskaia and chairman Bruce Buck yesterday.

He said: “Firstly, I would like to thank the fans for the incredible support that I have received over the last 18 months. I hope they know what that means to me.

“When I took on this role, I understood the challenges that lay ahead in a difficult time for the football club.

“I am proud of the achievements that we made, and I am proud of the academy players that have made their step into the first team and performed so well. They are the future of the club.

“I am disappointed not to have had the time this season to take the club forward and bring it to the next level.

“I want to thank Mr Abramovich, the board, players, my coaching team and everyone at the club for their hard work and dedication, especially in these unprecedented and challenging times.

“I wish the team and the club every success for the future.”

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