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Tuchel, the Chelsea head coach, praises Boehly as “very hard-working” in response to Neville’s remarks.
Tuchel, the Chelsea head coach

Gary Neville, a former Premier League defender, criticized Todd Boehly as the new owner of the Blues, while Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel defended the American billionaire, calling him “very hard-working.”

Neville charged Boehly with becoming “panicky” in the transfer market and treating Chelsea as though he “wants to play Football Manager,” a reference to the video game.

The west London club have missed out on a number of key targets this window, with Jules Kounde from Sevilla and Raphinha from Leeds United reportedly snubbing Chelsea in order to move to Spanish giants Barcelona.

While they have completed the signings of Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli and England international Raheem Sterling, Neville said about Boehly on The Overlap: “He’s reacting to clubs and what they are doing. You hear his name too much, he’s too prominent.”

In a press conference held prior to Chelsea’s Saturday Premier League opener against Everton, Tuchel was quick to defend the owner.

Regarding Neville’s remarks, Tuchel responded as follows: “Panicking? No, I would say it was really laborious and involved learning on the job.

“The transfer market is one of the most difficult things to navigate when you are an outsider, but Todd and Behdad [Eghbali, co-owner] have my utmost respect and admiration.

“I don’t know when they sleep, I think maybe they never sleep. But we have a very honest, very open, very direct line of communication and the transfers so far speak for itself.

“We have a delay, of course nobody is guilty for that delay. We have a delay because of the sanctions [against the club when Roman Abramovich was owner], and the sanctions led to the loss of key players.

“But both of the owners who are involved in the daily business have done a fantastic job so far.”

Ahead of the game against Everton, Chelsea have been boosted by captain Cesar Azpilicueta signing a new two-year contract, ending speculation of a move this window to Barcelona.

They have also completed the signings of 18-year-old midfielder Carney Chukwuemeka from Aston Villa and Brighton and Hove Albion left-back Marc Cucurella.

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