Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel said on Friday that he expects discussions on the Premier League club’s sales to intensify in the coming weeks, but he was unsure if he would meet with potential owners.
The German said last month that he was fully committed to the team and willing to adapt to the demands of a new owner.
European champions Chelsea were first put up for sale by owner Roman Abramovich after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine before sanctions were imposed on the oligarch by the British government, effectively giving it control of the club.
The Ricketts family and groups led by Martin Broughton and Todd Boehly are among the bidders who have been included on a shortlist of potential buyers.
British media also reported that Stephen Pagliuca, co-owner of the NBA team Boston Celtics, can also participate and compete.
“I’m not sure if I could tell you the names. It is my information that it is down to four and in the coming weeks there should be further talks and negotiations,” Tuchel said at a press conference ahead of Saturday’s Premier League match. against Brentford.
“I’m not sure if they want to (meet me) and I’m not sure if I should (meet them). Maybe it’s best for me to be involved in this as late as possible.”
Tuchel also praised the British government’s decision to change its operating license to allow club supporters to buy away tickets.
Chelsea could not sell tickets after the government imposed sanctions on Abramovich, and their home game against Brentford will only be attended by season pass holders.
“We are happy that things have changed and we can have fans in the FA Cup semi-final and Champions League,” said Tuchel.
“So everyone has to step up tomorrow and have a responsibility to create a good atmosphere. We need our spectators behind us, so if we are a little less, they have to compensate for those who are missing.”
The German added that he could do little to help Chelsea midfielder Jorginho put the disappointment of Italy’s World Cup qualifier loss behind him, stressing that it was the club’s responsibility to create a “safe place” for the players.
“I’m to be honest, I did not talk much about it (Italy’s elimination) because what can I say to get rid of his pain? Nothing,” Tuchel said.
“As always, it’s our job more to create an environment and atmosphere. He came in a day earlier than he needed to be and that’s why I had a feeling he loved coming back and it was a positive environment.”
Chelsea are third in the table with 59 points in 28 games.
(Reporting by Aadi Nair in Bengaluru; Edited by Toby Davis)