Tuchel wants futures of Jorginho and Kante to be resolved

Thomas Tuchel wants the long-term futures of Jorginho and N’Golo Kante to be resolved this summer.

The contracts of both players expire in the summer of 2023 and head coach Tuchel is keen to avoid a repeat of the uncertainty over the futures of Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger, whose deals expire at the end of the season.

Both defenders can therefore leave on free transfers this summer. Christensen is expected to join Barcelona.

Chelsea cannot negotiate contracts until new owners take charge at Stamford Bridge.

And Tuchel is hoping a takeover will soon go through – and pave the way for contract negotiations with Jorginho and Kante to take place.

Tuchel said: “Nobody wants that (uncertainty) with players, especially big and important players. It is important that we solve this in the summer so that it is clear where the journey is.

“At the moment it is difficult to handle anything. But yes, of course, this should be the target for us.”

Tuchel has admitted that Kante struggling for fitness and form has been an important factor in Chelsea’s recent poor displays.

Kante remains a key player for the Blues but has been plagued by injuries during the past couple of seasons.

He was well short of his best in this week’s Champions League defeat against Real Madrid and was taken off by Tuchel at half-time.

“N’Golo is a key player because he has outstanding qualities,” Tuchel said.

“N’Golo is a unique player that can give something to the team that nobody else can.

“He struggles this season for consistency due to injury and due to illness and this is also a reason for our (the team’s) bit of inconsistency.

“We missed him for so many matches, if you look at the minutes he was available.

“He is a unique player with unique qualities and we try to push him because we know what we have.”

Meanwhile, Hakim Ziyech and Romelu Lukuaku are doubts for Chelsea’s trip to face Southampton.

Both players have missed training and will be assessed ahead of the game at St Mary’s.

Ziyech picked up a knock against Real, while Lukaku is nursing a sore Achilles.

“We are a bit in doubt with Romelu and Hakim Ziyech, so we need to see,” Tuchel explained.

“They were not in training yesterday due to little problems. We hope to have them in training but we need a test and to have confirmation if they are available for tomorrow.”

Tuchel also admitted that Callum Hudson-Odoi is set to remain on the sidelines for some time.

Hudson-Odoi has been struggling with an Achilles injury and also has a back problem.

“It doesn’t look so good at the moment,” Tuchel said.

“I think it’s not a matter of days at the moment, more a matter of weeks.”