Manchester United fear Thomas Tuchel will stay at Chelsea despite uncertainty over his future

The Chelsea manager’s future has become the subject of intense speculation after Roman Abramovich was hit with UK government sanctions last week.

The United hierarchy are long-time admirers of the German and watched him closely before he took over at Stamford Bridge last year.

But they received no encouragement that he was ready to leave Chelsea – even following such a turbulent period for the European champions.

Pochettino and Ten Hag remain high on United’s wanted list this summer when they name a permanent successor to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

It would take a clear signal from Tuchel that he would be interested in being added to this list of candidates to make them change direction now.

The former Paris St-Germain manager has repeatedly insisted he is happy at Chelsea – but recently gave the first hint that his long-term future is less certain.

“There is no doubt that I will stay until the end of the season, absolutely,” he said after the 1-0 win over Newcastle tightened Chelsea’s grip on third place. “We just have to wait and we still have to go day by day because everything can change.

“But as you know the situation is clear, the club is for sale, and hopefully that will pass to sort things out and give us perspective.

“It’s a massive club, a massive club with a huge tradition. And there are hundreds of people who I’m sure care more than our players and our staff, myself included.

Tuchel enjoyed spectacular success in just 14 months at Chelsea – winning the Champions League, European Super Cup and Club World Cup during that time.

He has also reached two other finals – the FA Cup and the Carabao Cup – as he is on course to qualify for the Champions League for the second consecutive season.

This has seen his reputation improve across Europe, with a host of clubs monitoring his situation as events unfold regarding Abramovich and the sale of the club.

Tuchel is supposed to be settled in England and has no desire to uproot his family.

He also has a strong working relationship with the Chelsea hierarchy, in particular director Marina Granovskaia and technical adviser Petr Cech.

Although the future of this pair is also uncertain once the sale is completed, it is not believed that this would automatically make Tuchel reconsider his position if they leave.

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Any new owners are likely to want to keep Tuchel on to maintain stability, as he also took on a statesman’s role during the recent upset.

Chelsea, meanwhile, are still trying to change the terms of the special license that allows them to continue playing, despite Abramovich’s sanctions.

The current terms only allow a maximum expenditure of £20,000 to travel to matches.

This week’s trip to Lille had already been paid for before last week’s penalties – but that casts doubt on their continued involvement in the Champions League should they progress to the quarter-finals.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has already increased the budget for home games from £500,000 to £900,000.

They know they have time to wait until after Wednesday’s match at Lille to adjust the away budget – but the insistence within the club is that £20,000 will struggle to cover domestic matches, let alone travel abroad.

They want it adjusted in time for Saturday’s FA Cup quarter-final at Middlesbrough.

Before Lille, Tuchel said: “My last information is that we are getting a plane. We can therefore leave by plane and return by plane. Otherwise, we will go by train. Otherwise, we will go by bus. Otherwise, I will drive a seven-seater. Honestly, I will. You can mark my words, I will make it happen.

“If you asked me 20 years ago, 30 years ago, if I would join a Champions League game on the sideline and what I was prepared to do, I would say: ‘Okay, where should I be and when?’ Why should this change?

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