Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has admitted that signing a striker is “not a priority,” ruling out a move for Cristiano Ronaldo who wants to leave Manchester United.
On Wednesday, the Blues completed the £45 million signing of Raheem Sterling, the first of the Todd Boehly era, and Tuchel stressed that the priority is now to strengthen Chelsea’s defence.
“I would not rule it out [signing another striker] but right now it is not the priority. The priority right now is defence, it’s not a secret. From there we need to see what’s possible,” said Tuchel in an interview with Sky Sports.
“We’re competing against the two top teams but Tottenham did a very active and aggressive and early transfer period, they have maybe the strongest squad they have ever had with one of the best coaches in the world.
“Man Utd are never shy of recruiting with a new coach and Arsenal had some big signings already so we need to keep the level up to be competitive.”
This summer has seen a number of high-profile departures from Stamford Bridge, including Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen, and Romelu Lukaku, and Tuchel has emphasised the importance of bringing in quality replacements.
“The stakes are high and we’re competing not only against the best teams who have ever played in the Premier League but also the best coaches,” he added.
“If you [then] see the transfer period and quality of coach at Tottenham, if you see the same at Arsenal, at Man Utd, we know what the challenge is. It’s the toughest challenge you can [have].
“We come from sanctions, we come from losing top-quality players, key players, we are a club in transition, in the transition of ownership, we were behind in the transfer race and we were behind in the table. So, we have things to improve.
“The signing of Raheem shows what we’re capable of doing, it shows the ambition of the club and the ownership and it’s good because we’re all here to win and compete.
“We love to compete and we love the challenge at the very top. For that, we need signings of new quality players or otherwise, there’s no chance.”