Thomas Tuchel Reportedly Wanted as Antonio Conte's Replacement at Chelsea

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistAugust 23, 2017

BERLIN, GERMANY - MAY 27: Head coach Thomas Tuchel of Dortmund gestures during the DFB Cup final match between Eintracht Frankfurt and Borussia Dortmund at Olympiastadion on May 27, 2017 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)
TF-Images/Getty Images

Chelsea have reportedly lined up Thomas Tuchel as a potential replacement for manager Antonio Conte

According to SportBild (h/t Annie Eaves of Sport Witness), the Blues have been considering possible successors for the Italian, who recently agreed a new contract at Stamford Bridge. Tuchel, who left Borussia Dortmund in the summer, is said to be on their radar.

SportBild reported that while Conte "pulled his head out of the loop" with a win over Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday, his time at Chelsea is coming to an end.

Blues director Marina Granovskaia is said to have been "informed about Tuchel in detail and has decided on him as a new Chelsea coach."

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 20: Chelsea manager Antonio Conte gestures from the touchline during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea at Wembley Stadium on August 20, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Chris Brunskill Ltd/Getty Imag
Chris Brunskill Ltd/Getty Images

However, according to Matt Law of the Daily Telegraph, suggestions that the Blues are looking beyond Conte are wide of the mark:

Speculation has been present all summer with regards to Conte's position at Stamford Bridge. Gazzetta dello Sport (h/t ESPN FC) suggested that the coach was frustrated by the club's inactivity in the window and was considering his position.

While those fears were quelled when it was announced the manager had agreed a new contract, there was no extension to the three-year deal signed by Conte when he initially took up the post in 2016. It means speculation is unlikely to cease for a while yet.

As noted by Charlie Skillen of the MailOnline, even if Conte were to move on after a fallout, appointing someone like Tuchel wouldn't seem like the logical move:

Tuchel spent two seasons at Borussia Dortmund and faced a tough challenge replacing Jurgen Klopp. However, he got the team playing some wonderful football and managed the sale of some key players well.

Tuchel enjoyed a decent spell with Dortmund.
Tuchel enjoyed a decent spell with Dortmund.INA FASSBENDER/Getty Images

Under his guidance, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang cemented his status as one of the best strikers in the world, while Christian Pulisic and Ousmane Dembele both blossomed. While he's no longer there, Tuchel ensured the club's jump into the post-Klopp era was steered well.

Greg Johnson has his doubts as to whether he'd be the right type of replacement for Conte:

Still, if Conte were to leave Chelsea just three months on from the team's Premier League title triumph, it would be a huge surprise.

At Wembley last weekend, Conte was vociferous in his celebrations after the 2-1 win over Spurs, and it was clear from the display that his players remain behind him. Last season he cemented his status as one of the best coaches in world football by winning the title.

Tuchel will be in demand when the big jobs in European football do come up, as he is an astute coach. But you sense Conte will take some shifting from the dugout at Stamford Bridge.