Michael Ballack Believes Thomas Tuchel Could Join Chelsea On One Condition

Former Chelsea midfielder Michael Ballack believes the Blues must finish in the top-four of the Premier League this term in order to enhance their chances of recruiting Thomas Tuchel as their next head coach. Blues boss Antonio Conte still has 15 months left on his existing contract, but reports suggested that the Italian will be relieved of his duties at the end of the season.

Speaking for Betfair, Ballack spoke about the interest from the likes of Paris Saint-Germain, Arsenal, and Chelsea in Tuchel, and feels Champions League football is a must for his former side to recruit the 44-year-old manager, he said: “One thing I am sure of is that Thomas Tuchel is ready and able to manage a top club. Whether is it Arsenal, Paris or even at Chelsea, it does not matter. He is ready. Chelsea's participation in the Champions League next season will have a big impact on Tuchel's next role.”

The Blues have gone through a difficult campaign by their standards after their Premier League triumph last term, and they are now facing the prospect of missing out on Champions League football, unless one of the teams above them drop points between now and the end of the season. Tottenham Hotspur are their nearest rivals for the moment with a five-point lead, but the Blues can cut short the gap with a victory over Spurs in the London derby at Stamford Bridge.

Earlier there had been a suggestion that Conte may keep his job by winning some form of silverware, but securing the FA Cup may now not necessarily guarantee the same. The 48-year-old has on multiple occasions criticised the Blues’ way of handling their business during the transfer window, and his urge to have more control over signings does not seem to suit the club’s hierarchy.