Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has revealed he tried to sign Bruno Fernandes when he was manager of PSG.
Tuchel will be facing off against the Portuguese playmaker as the Blues host Manchester United at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
But Fernandes could have been playing for the French champions if the German manager had had his way.
“With my first sporting director in Paris, Antero Henrique, a Portuguese sporting director, and he knew [Fernandes] very well,” Tuchel revealed.
“We fought hard to have a connection to him and to bring him to our team. I got made aware of him more in detail, so we watched more and more games about him and followed him and tried to be in touch with him to make it happen.
“Obviously, he decided [to sign for Man Utd] and I was never personally in touch with him, but we tried and he went another way. [It is] bad for us that we have to play against him.”
Former Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has revealed the rationale behind switching from a 4-2-4 system to his famous 3-4-3 formation at Stamford Bridge.
The Italian introduced a three-man defence formation after suffering consecutive league defeats to Liverpool and Arsenal in 2016. He thereafter won the Premier League trophy that same season.
“I took inspiration from non-professional coaches rather than those who studied at Coverciano,” the Inter tactician said.
“At the beginning of my career, I used a 4-2-4 system. Then I switched to a three-man defence, it’s more offensive because you can attack with five players.
“When I moved to Chelsea I used a 4-2-4, but I had to change because Hazard, Willian and Pedro struggled to cope with defensive duties on the flanks. Again, I switched to a three-man defence. The idea must be adapted to the players. I see football as a scholar: reshaping ideas makes the difference between coaches.”
Many say Romelu Lukaku is unstoppable, but only if he has space in front of him. Does Conte agree?
“It’s too easy to say that. I wish Lukaku and Lautaro were given more space inside the box. I don’t think it’s a good thing for defenders. Lukaku is an atypical player, he is a speedy centre forward, he could play American Football.”
Thomas Tuchel is keen to help unlock Kai Havertz’s “unlimited potential”, promising the youngster will be given opportunity to feature in his Chelsea side.
The Germany international joined the west London club in the summer and struggled to nail down a settled role under Frank Lampard despite the high expectations from the club’s faithful.
Tuchel insists his lack of playing time over the course of the last month has simply been down to the Germany international’s lack of fitness.
The gaffer said: “Since I arrived, the only thing that kept him from making a big impact is his injury, nothing else. I see a committed guy, I see a guy who made a brave decision to move abroad at a young age and to go out of his comfort zone and accept a big challenge in a big team, in the biggest league.
“I see a totally clear guy who is totally aware of that, full of talent, unlimited talent and I see a play who will have a big impact in Chelsea, I’m absolutely convinced because the mix gives me that feeling that he can have a big role in this club and he is absolutely determined to fulfil his role.”
Tuchel has no doubt that there’s immense potential here. It’s just a matter of being able to unlock it.
The Blues manager added: “He is a unique player. It’s not so clear where he needs to settle. Does he need to settle on one special position? Or is he kind of a hybrid player? Today, I would say he’s in between a nine and a 10, something in between.
“He’s very comfortable in the box; he’s very comfortable in high positions, he’s very good at offensive headers, he has good timing to arrive in the box, good finishing, good composure in the box, around the box, and very comfortable in high positions so between nine and 10.”