Chelsea not distracted by sanctions

Chelsea are focused on Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final against Crystal Palace and have not been distracted by the British government imposing sanctions on club director Eugene Tenenbaum, manager Thomas Tuchel said.

The British government imposed sanctions on Tenenbaum in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, freezing his assets citing his close association with Chelsea’s sanctioned owner Roman Abramovich.

“I don’t know the implications and what it means for the club,” Tuchel told reporters.

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“Right now, it’s not a further distraction. It’s just one more of the same time… It’s about the sale and the board, that process.

“It’s no new subject so for me, from my point of view, that here at the training ground it is far from as big a distraction as you may think when you see it on TV as breaking news.”

Tuchel said he was not aware of new developments in the proposed takeover of the club, adding that talks were still going on.

A consortium led by the Ricketts family have pulled out of the running.

The German said Chelsea, who won the Champions League last season, were disappointed to be knocked out in the quarter-finals but they were happy with their display in the 3-2 second leg win at Real Madrid this week.

“We are all a bit in between. Confidence wise, I think it’s a huge boost but it’s a disappointment to go out of the Champions League at the quarter-finals,” Tuchel said.

“We’ve got some training time now before our Sunday match and we will use it to sweat it out and be ready for Sunday.”

Chelsea have a fit squad for Sunday’s all-London affair against Palace, except for Ben Chilwell and Callum Hudson-Odoi, while Romelu Lukaku had returned to training and could be available.

Tuchel said he had apologised to loanee Conor Gallagher with Chelsea not allowing Palace to field him in Sunday’s match.

“I had the chance to speak to Conor and I could see his frustration. We met some weeks ago… we ran into each other by coincidence and we had a chat and I apologised because I know how competitive he is,” Tuchel said.

“It’s the way it is. We play to win the game and the rules were clear when we made the loan. I can understand the disappointment of Conor.”

Palace boss Patrick Vieira also said Gallagher was disappointed but that he understood the rules.

“He’s in a good place… these are the rules and we have to play by them. We will have another player playing and having different options. I’m not worried about players coming in,” he said.

Palace have never won the FA Cup but Vieira has lifted the trophy five times as a player.

“The message to the players and fans is to enjoy the day. We had a really good week of preparation and we will be ready,” he added.

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