De Bruyne injuries put question mark over his Euro 2020 participation

Tuchel setting sights on Lukaku following Chelsea’s Champions League final win

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel  celebrates with the Champions League trophy after winning the final against Manchester City in Porto on Saturday. Photograph: Susan Vera/Pool/EPA

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel celebrates with the Champions League trophy after winning the final against Manchester City in Porto on Saturday. Photograph: Susan Vera/Pool/EPA

 

Kevin De Bruyne suffered an acute fracture of the nose and an orbital fracture to his left eye socket in Manchester City’s 1-0 Champions League final defeat to Chelsea on Saturday.

The Belgian midfielder has left hospital but faces a wait regarding how the injuries heal before his availability for Euro 2020 can be determined. De Bruyne was injured in a challenge with Chelsea’s Antonio Rüdiger just before the hour mark in Porto.

“Hi guys just got back from the hospital,” De Bruyne wrote on Twitter. “My diagnosis is acute nose bone fracture and left orbital fracture. I feel okay now. Still disappointed about yesterday obviously but we will be back.”

It was initially thought that De Bruyne had been concussed in the challenge, with the midfielder replaced by Gabriel Jesus. City were already trailing to Kai Havertz’s 42nd-minute goal, which proved enough for Chelsea to earn a 1-0 win.

De Bruyne required treatment on the pitch at Éstadio do Dragão before leaving the field in tears. After heading down the players’ tunnel, he reappeared to watch the rest of the final with a visibly swollen left eye.

Nose and orbital fractures can take a number of weeks to heal, so De Bruyne’s participation at Euro 2020 is in the balance. It is possible the 29-year-old could return more quickly if we wears a face mask, similar to that worn by Rüdiger in the final. The Chelsea defender suffered a facial injury in the first leg of their semi-final against Real Madrid.

Fortnight

Belgium’s opening Group B match takes place in under a fortnight. Roberto Martínez’s side will face Russia in Saint Petersburg on Saturday June 12th before games against Denmark (June 17th) and Finland (June 21st).

Chelsea coach Thomas Tuchel is planning a move for Romelu Lukaku as he considers how to mould a side capable of challenging for the Premier League.

Tuchel, who is close to signing a new two-year deal, met the club’s owner, Roman Abramovich, in person for the first time on Saturday. He is targeting a maximum of three signings this summer and is keen to increase his options in attack, with Internazionale’s Lukaku prominent in his thoughts.

Inter will do all they can to keep Lukaku after signing him for £74 million from Manchester United two years ago. The Italians will not want to make a loss on him and will first look to raise funds by selling the right-back Achraf Hakimi and the Argentina forward Lautaro Martínez. However, Chelsea have the financial means to test Inter’s resolve and Tuchel, who had further talks with Abramovich on Sunday, is determined to fashion an all-conquering side.

“We have to check with the owner if this is his plan,” Tuchel said. “It’s always possible. The belief is very strong. We have a group with a very strong bond. It’s still a young squad. It’s the challenge now to make this not too heavy for us, this huge success.

“It’s like a similar deal with Tom Brady when they ask him what is his favourite win and he says ‘the next one’. We have a Premier League to play from day one. We will be seen a bit differently as Champions League winners and this is where we have to step up. If we really want to build something, I’m all in. I’m happy to discuss it. If our beliefs match, we go from there.”

Ruthlessness

A new striker is a priority for Tuchel, who is set to be handed a contract extension until 2023 with the option of a further year. Chelsea have lacked ruthlessness this season, with Timo Werner enduring a trying campaign, and will need a better cutting edge if they are to end City’s domestic supremacy after finishing fourth this season.

Chelsea are one of the clubs interested in Harry Kane, who wants to leave Tottenham. However, Spurs are unlikely to do business with them and it is also understood that Borussia Dortmund are determined not to lose Erling Haaland this summer. Dortmund would prefer to sell the England winger Jadon Sancho.

That has left Chelsea considering a reunion with Lukaku. A move for the Belgium striker, who had a brief spell in west London before joining Everton in 2013, could be feasible because of Inter’s financial difficulties. Inter need to sell players this summer and Lukaku is considering his future after seeing the former Chelsea manager Antonio Conte leave the Serie A champions by mutual consent last week.

Lukaku scored 24 goals in 36 appearances as Inter won the title for the first time since 2010. The 28-year-old’s goalscoring pedigree is not in doubt and Conte was close to bringing him back to Chelsea four years ago, only for United to sign the forward for £75 million from Everton.

Tuchel has often played without a traditional No 9 since replacing Frank Lampard on an initial 18-month deal in January. Olivier Giroud could leave on a free transfer and Chelsea, who are due to hand Thiago Silva a new one-year deal, could raise funds by selling Tammy Abraham, who was not on the bench against City. West Ham and Leicester are interested in Abraham.

- Guardian

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