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17th Jul 2022

Thomas Tuchel admits he will ‘think twice’ before signing unvaccinated players

Daniel Brown

Tuchel is without Kante and Loftus-Cheek for Chelsea’s pre-season tour due to their vaccination status

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has admitted that he will ‘think twice’ before signing players who are not vaccinated against covid-19.

The vaccination status of players has once again become an issue for clubs ahead of the new season, with the Blues currently without N’Golo Kante and Ruben Loftus-Cheek for their pre-season tour of the United States because of the pair’s vaccination status.

The midfield duo have missed a week of training in Los Angeles, as well as the first pre-season game against Club America in Las Vegas. Chelsea will face off against Charlotte FC and Arsenal before returning to London next Sunday.

Asked if the vaccination status of transfer targets had to come into his thinking when deciding whether or not to sign a player, Tuchel answered: “Yes, it has to. I know some players who I would also take without vaccination. I have to say. But, yes, it is a part of daily life at the moment.”

He added: “N’Golo [Kante] is preparing himself with Ruben [Loftus-Cheek]. We cannot force them (to be vaccinated). It is at the moment a very normal decision to get vaccinated. Both players took the decision not to.

“We need to follow the rules, so they cannot join us. They know about the consequences. We don’t like it, of course not. We would love to have them here and it’s not an ideal solution. Far from ideal. But once the situation is like this you need to come up with a solution.

“So they have their coaches there (in England). They have coaches from us there who take care. They train with the Under-23s, but they go to the United States too, so then they go with the Under-19s to not be completely not in a group. But it will not compensate, it will not be the same.”

Blues add Koulibaly to ranks

Chelsea confirmed the signing of centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly earlier this week, with the defender – who signed a four-year deal – costing £34million from Napoli.

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