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Chelsea chief Marina Granovskaia explains reason for giving Thomas Tuchel a new contract

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Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel has been awarded with a new three-year contract at Stamford Bridge.

Tuchel was appointed as the successor to the sacked Frank Lampard in late January.

The German has been a resounding success so far in west London.

Tuchel led Chelsea to a fourth-placed finish in the Premier League, earning Champions League qualification.

He also masterminded victory over Manchester City in the Champions League final last weekend.

The only blemish on Tuchel’s record so far was the FA Cup final defeat to Leicester last month.

Chelsea confirmed on Friday afternoon that Tuchel’s deal, which was set to run until 2022, has been extended by a further two years.

The statement said an agreement was made for that to happen upon his appointment in January if he met the club’s objectives.

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Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia has paid tribute to Tuchel’s start at the club and has explained the reasoning behind the new deal.

Granovskaia told the official Chelsea website: “When Thomas joined us in January there was still so much to play for domestically and in Europe. He slotted in seamlessly and immediately became an integral part of the Chelsea family.

“Returning us to the top four in the Premier League was crucial, and we could not be happier with our success in the Champions League which crowned a remarkable season at Chelsea.

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“We are obviously extremely pleased therefore to retain Thomas for a further two years, and look forward to more achievements in the coming seasons.”

After signing his new deal, Tuchel outlined his excitement at the direction the club is heading in.

The former Borussia Dortmund boss said: “I cannot imagine a better occasion for a contract renewal. I am grateful for the experience and very happy to stay part of the Chelsea family.

“There is far more to come and we are looking forward to our next steps with ambition and much anticipation.”

Tuchel has won 19 games out of the 30 he has managed so far as Chelsea boss.

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Speaking after the win over City in Porto last Saturday, the 47-year-old insisted the victory was just the start of something special.

“We have a strong group who can really defend and defending is a huge part of football,” Tuchel said.

“They have a huge energy together and they can deliver under pressure.

“So this sets the level for us and once the celebrations are over and we have all digested this experience, it’s the moment to grow, to evolve, and to use it to become better.

“A lot of young players had this huge success and now it’s a big challenge to stay hungry and to go for the next one.”

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Erik Ten Hag demands Man Utd ‘be fast’ about getting £43m signing over the line

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Erik ten Hag has told Man Utd to hurry up over a potential deal to sign Ajax centre-back Lisandro Martinez, according to reports.

The Red Devils are looking for a new centre-back this summer to give Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof and Raphael Varane some competition.

Man Utd have been linked with a number of defenders but a potential transfer for Martinez seems to have legs with a number of respected journalists revealing Ten Hag’s interest in a deal.

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The Argentina international was one of Ajax’s best players under Ten Hag last season with the 24-year-old playing 37 times in all competitions for the Eredivisie champions.

Ajax have been holding out for €50m (£43m) for Martinez but reports yesterday indicated they are ‘willing to cooperate’ with Man Utd after the Red Devils put an offer of €41m plus €4m in add-ons on the table.

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And that will be music to Ten Hag’s ears with journalist Fabrizio Romano claiming that the Dutchman has told Man Utd ‘to be fast’ over sealing a deal for Martinez with competition coming from fellow Premier League side Arsenal.

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It is understood that Martinez is ‘pushing to leave Ajax’ this summer and Ten Hag wants the Argentine as his next signing after Christian Eriksen and Tyrell Malacia.

Arsenal are described as ‘still there’ in the race for Martinez but Romano adds that Man Utd boss Ten Hag ‘wants him strongly’.

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Barcelona do not want to sign Ronaldo, Lewandowski is the priority

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Following the meeting between Barcelona and super-agent Jorge Mendes on Monday, there has been non-stop speculation that the Catalans have been offered a chance to sign Manchester United superstar Cristiano Ronaldo.

The 37-year-old is intent on securing an exit from Old Trafford this summer, just a year after returning to his old stomping ground.

The lack of Champions League football and the failure to sign any players so far have been cited as reasons for the Portuguese maverick to seek a move.

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There have been talks with Chelsea, while a move to Bayern Munich has also been mooted. And following the meeting between his agent Mendes and Barcelona president Joan Laporta, it is being heavily speculated that Ronaldo has been offered to the Blaugrana.

However, as per a report from journalist David Bernabeu Reverter, there is zero chance that Barcelona will sign Ronaldo this summer.

The Spanish journalist claims that Bayern Munich superstar Robert Lewandowski remains the utmost priority for the Blaugrana this summer and their stance on the matter is non-negotiable.

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Barça have been pursuing Lewandowski for months and even have a three-year contract agreement in place with the Poland captain.

However, Bayern Munich’s unwillingness to negotiate with the Catalans is proving to be a major hurdle.

In spite of that, the Blaugrana remain intent on signing Lewandowski and are not considering bringing in Ronaldo, as per the aforementioned update.

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Despite being 37, Ronaldo remains in tremendous shape and scored 24 goals in all competitions last season. However, he has a rich history with Real Madrid.

The Portugal captain is Los Blancos’ all-time leading goalscorer and a club legend. So, it is hard to fathom that a move to Camp Nou can materialise.

As things stand, at least according to what David Bernabeu Reverter’s sources are stating, Lewandowski is the absolute priority for Barcelona.

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Barcelona looking to renew La Masia midfielder before loaning him out

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A report from SPORT has offered a fresh update on the future of Barcelona midfielder Riqui Puig. The 22-year-old finds himself out of favour at Camp Nou and is widely expected to depart this summer.

Puig has been courting serious interest from clubs in Spain and the rest of Europe. In particular,

Benfica and Fiorentina have been showing the strongest in signing the La Masia midfielder despite his struggles to establish a foothold in the Barça first-team setup.

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Benfica have been long-term admirers of the Spaniard and continue to retain an interest. As for Fiorentina, they are already believed to be in advanced negotiations with Puig over a possible move this summer.

While it was largely expected that Barcelona would sell Puig permanently, the report from SPORT claims otherwise. Indeed, as per the latest update, the Catalan giants do not plan on selling the 22-year-old outright.

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Instead, Barça plan to extend his contract and send him out on loan so that he can play regularly and kickstart his development which has stalled in recent seasons due to a lack of game-time.

Puig’s current contract with the Blaugrana expires in 2023 and the Catalans want to ensure that they extend the deal before he is sent out on loan.

The 22-year-old, for his part, has always desired to succeed at Camp Nou. However, he has accepted that a move away to a team where he can get regular minutes under his belt would be in his best interests.

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A loan move would likely appeal more to Puig than a permanent transfer as it would allow him a chance to return to Barcelona and prove himself next year.

With no shortage of takers for the 22-year-old La Masia graduate, it remains to be seen where he ends up.

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