Tuchel confirms Alonso is close to Barcelona as Chelsea seek reinforcements after Everton win

Tuchel confirms Alonso is close to Barcelona as Chelsea seek reinforcements after Everton win

Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel is hoping to welcome more new faces to Stamford Bridge before the end of the transfer window as he confirmed Marcos Alonso is close to a move to Barcelona.

Jorginho’s first-half penalty was enough to get Chelsea’s 2022/23 Premier League campaign off to a flying start on Saturday, ending a run of four straight defeats for the Blues at Goodison Park.

New signings Kalidou Koulibaly and Raheem Sterling started the hard-fought win, with the latter twice coming close to a debut goal, while Marc Cucurella also made his Chelsea arc from the bench.

Having already parted with significant fees for that trio, Chelsea have also been linked with moves for Leicester City defender Wesley Fofana and Barcelona star Frenkie de Jong.

After Chelsea won their opening Premier League game for the third straight season despite not showing a fluid performance, Tuchel insisted more recruits were needed.

“Yes, if we can add, we will add,” Tuchel told Sky Sports.

“Maybe not midfielders as a first option, but we’re open to anything and I think we can use new energy, new legs and fresh input to take us to a new level.

“If not then we will push this team but I think we could use a little more input and a little more quality. It’s our turn, but we won’t tell you!”

Chelsea dominated the opening phase on Merseyside, winning the second-most corners ever in the first half of a Premier League game (13, second to Tottenham’s 15 against Aston Villa in December 2012). Saves to maintain lead after the break.

Mendy has now kept 47 per cent of his Premier League starts without conceding (31/66) – only Ederson (50 per cent) has a better record among goalkeepers, having started at least 50 games.

But with Chelsea struggling for results at Everton in recent seasons, Tuchel was content with the Blues clinching a win despite not being at their best.

“We struggled to get points here last season, we have the points, a win is a win,” he added. “It is most important that everything gets better because we have to get better.

“I could assume that maybe we are not at our highest level. We have players but they came late, the preseason was a bit turbulent.

“The last week of training was promising, some situations in the first half were quite good and in the second half we just didn’t move the ball enough. It was a strange second half without the rhythm of our team and the interruptions. 10 minutes extra… a bit strange.

“But we persevered and did whatever it took to keep a clean sheet, so there are positive things and we’re going from there.

“It’s very classic that we win 1-0 thanks to a Jorginho penalty. As I said, we know we have to improve, but above all, a win helps us to be open to improvement and to the atmosphere and spirit. “

Meanwhile, with Chelsea acquiring Cucurella this week, they appear ready to allow their full-back Alonso to join Barcelona.

The Spain international has been left out of the squad for the Merseyside trip and Tuchel confirmed the decision was the result of his desire to join the Blaugrana.

Asked if Alonso’s absence suggests a move to the Camp Nou is close, Tuchel told reporters: “It is the case.

“He is trying to leave and we complied with that wish. That’s why it wouldn’t have made sense to put him on the pitch today.

“Otherwise he would have been on the pitch, but in this situation it was the right thing to do.”

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