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summer move Two players emerging as pawns in an ambitious Chelsea transfer jigsaw

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Thomas Tuchel has accepted why Tammy Abraham, pictured, could be worried about his Chelsea future (Julian Finney/PA)

Thomas Tuchel has accepted why Tammy Abraham, pictured, could be worried about his Chelsea future (Julian Finney/PA)

Thomas Tuchel has accepted why Tammy Abraham, pictured, could be worried about his Chelsea future (Julian Finney/PA)

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has refused to be drawn on the future of striker Tammy Abraham, but it has emerged that he could be a key pawn in an extravagant summer transfer plan for the beaten FA Cup finalists.

Abraham established himself as a key player under manager Frank Lampard last season, with the club's transfer embargo ensuring youthful performers were given their chance to shine.

Yet Abraham has lost his way in recent months, with Timo Werner, Kai Havertz and Olivier Giroud all ahead of him in the striking pecking order for boss Tuchel.

Now there is an expectation that Abraham will have a big role to play for Chelsea this summer, but only as a make-weight in possible transfers as the club look to reshape the squad Tuchel inherited from Lampard in January.

Callum Hudson-Odoi (below) is another player likely to attract interest this summer, with Bayern Munich failing in an attempt to sign a player who has also fallen out of favour under Tuchel in recent weeks back in 2020.

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Callum Hudson-Odoi

Callum Hudson-Odoi

Callum Hudson-Odoi

Now it has emerged that both Abraham and Hudson-Odoi could be offered as make-weights in big-money deals for top transfer targets this summer, Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland at the top of the Blues' wanted list.

Chelsea's eagerness to Norway forward Haaland has not been disguised by Stamford Bridge insiders and while his club are keen to keep him, the Champions League finalists are expected to make a move to sign the most wanted striker in Europe.

They have also been linked with a move to bring Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku back to Chelsea from Inter Milan, while free-scoring Portuguese forward Andre Silva, who has impressed with Eintract Frankfurt this season, is also on a shortlist of strikers Chelsea are looking at.

Offering Abraham or Hudson-Odoi as part of a deal to sign a new striker may help to ease the deal through, with the future of Abraham the subject of debate at Tuchel's latest press conference.

Chelsea face Leicester again on Tuesday night in a Stamford Bridge battle where the Blues need a win to keep their top-four Premier League bid on track.

And with the Champions League final ahead on May 29, Tuchel is in no mood to let collective eyes wander from the most pressing prizes.

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Asked why Abraham missed out on Saturday, Tuchel replied: “Well it’s just the amount of people that I can nominate for a game.

“I decided to start Timo Werner in the number nine role, so we had Kai Havertz and Olivier Giroud on the bench, so we decided not to have three number nines on the bench. This is it, it’s never personal.

“When Mateo Kovacic and Andreas Christensen, maybe, come back into the squad, I need to figure out the squad and maybe eliminate two more players.

“This is the worst day and the worst decision for me in the whole week. Because since I arrived here everybody deserves to be in the squad.

“I understand his frustration and it was not the first time, and we have other guys with the same situation to face.

“This is not the moment to complain, and this is not the moment to explain too much. This is the moment just to live in the moment. These are the two decisive weeks now of the whole season.”

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