Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel has met owner Roman Abramovich for the first time and is confident he will be offered a new deal after winning the Champions League in his first six months at the club.
Chelsea turned a season of turmoil into the ultimate triumph as Kai Havertz’s ice-cool finish sunk Manchester City 1-0 to secure Champions League glory in Porto.
In just 124 days, Tuchel has transformed Frank Lampard’s muddled men into mean tactical machines – and champions of Europe.
The 47-year-old arrived from Paris Saint-Germain in January with a fiery reputation but has reinvented himself as a taskmaster with a joyful spirit and a tendency to tease the best from his players.
Tuchel insisted he did not fear the brevity of his 18-month contract on his arrival at Chelsea, admitting even a five-year deal would not save his skin should he underperform.
But the German revealed following his first meeting with Abramovich on the pitch at the Estadio do Dragao that a new contract is in the offing.
“I’m not even 100 per cent sure, but maybe I have already a new contract with that win,” Tuchel said. “My manager said something about it. I did not know, but let’s check this first. I spoke to the owner (Roman Abramovich) right now on the pitch, which was the best moment for a first meeting!
“…Or the worst as from now on, it can only get worse! We will speak tomorrow, we will speak later, but I’m looking forward to this.
“I can assure him that I will stay hungry, that I want the next title and I feel absolutely happy as a part of a really ambitious club and a strong part of a really strong group that suits my beliefs and suits my passion about football at the moment perfectly. My desire is to go for more victories and my desire is to grow as a coach. My desire is to push the group from the first day of the next season to the limit.
“We have work to do and we have to close the gap. This is what I am all about so it will be nice to meet him a bit closer. We’re in constant contact but not personal. He knows what’s going on from me directly but now it’s nice to meet him.”
Pep Guardiola fielded a surprise pivotless midfield in a bid to catch out Tuchel and the Blues, but the move backfired and City paid the price.
Guardiola has spent five years honing City for European dominance, but that frustrating wait goes on.
The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss last won the Champions League in 2011, the year before Chelsea’s first European triumph. Guardiola will keep grinding, but Tuchel – who lost the final last season with PSG against Bayern Munich – has once again got one over City’s Catalan coach.
“To share it with everybody is incredible,” Tuchel added. “I don’t know what to feel. I was so grateful to arrive a second time [in the final]. I felt different. We were somehow… You could feel it getting closer.
“The [players] were determined to win this. We wanted to be a stone in their shoe. We encouraged everybody to step up and step out, to be more brave and create dangerous counter-attacks.”