Thomas Tuchel has dropped his biggest hint yet that he wants Chelsea to sign Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as the striker’s representatives continue talks with Barcelona.
Chelsea are preparing to move forwards with their interest in Aubameyang, with Tuchel keen to work again with the man who was so prolific under him at Borussia Dortmund.
Barcelona are believed to value Aubameyang at around £21 million, with Chelsea thought to be keen to pay half that fee although no bid has yet been lodged.
Chelsea are waiting to see how many players Barcelona can register after securing more income into the club, while the issue could also impact the Spanish side's willingness to sell.
Aubameyang’s representatives have remained in Barcelona this week and have been holding talks with the club about the situation.
With Chelsea waiting to make their move, head coach Thomas Tuchel said: "I enjoyed working with him a lot [at Borussia Dortmund], it was a pleasure. Some players stay your players because you work very very close, Auba is one of these players.
"We had a very close relationship. Always when we played him here with Arsenal, there was always straight away this close bond. They always stay your players in a way, Auba is one of these guys.
"[I have] no concerns [about his attitude] because I experienced none of this. This is nothing to do with the situation in Arsenal which I will also not comment on out of respect. It’s not on me to comment, I don’t know what happened. In Dortmund, there was never an issue."
Chelsea also remain in talks over Leicester City defender Wesley Fofana and are waiting to see if midfielder Frenkie de Jong will remain at Barcelona.
Adding on transfers more generally, Tuchel said: "I think we could use and strengthen our squad in depth and strength [in attack and defence]. But it's one thing that you wish for and another for what is possible. It needs to be possible.
"We are looking for top quality, top personalities, good characters and competitors on the highest levels. You don’t always get what you wish for and that’s why we are calm and ambitious at the same time.
"There are quite some days to go until the end of the transfer period. Everything is possible until the end. We could use one more central defender; if you look at the numbers and that we play with a back three. The profile of the guys in the three is a little bit different, I admit.
"We can play with Azpi (Cesar Azpilicueta), who is more a full-back than central defender. (Marc) Cucurella it’s possible too [to play on the side of a back three]. Both of them cannot play as the middle central defender. So we could use one more central defender. Let’s see what happens.
"It is what it is. We will not panic and we will not do things, we will not try to sign players which we are not 100 per cent convinced. All signings so far are fantastic signings that help us. To be very honest, it is day-by-day business now to coach the team which is here and not lose your head as a coach about what could be."
Tuchel has been highly involved in Chelsea’s transfer business this season as the new interim sporting director Todd Boehly seeks his football expertise after Petr Cech’s departure.
The new responsibility has been hard on Tuchel, but he has remained positive in preparing his side to face Tottenham on Sunday. Last season, Antonio Conte said Chelsea were "far ahead" of his side, but Tuchel cast doubt on his rival’s comments.
"I don’t believe everything that Antonio Conte says in games before games and after games like this," said Tuchel. "I admire him a lot and I believe strongly that every team he trains competes for everything no matter which team, what club it is. This is what he proves right now."