Chelsea are being linked with a move for Paris Saint-Germain and Brazilian central-defender Marquinhos, as head coach Thomas Tuchel looks to put his own stamp of authority on his squad this summer.
The German, who will watch his side face Crystal Palace on the opening day of the 2021/22 Premier League campaign at Stamford Bridge next month, is yet to make his first signing as Blues boss, despite replacing Frank Lampard back in January.
Although he has already enjoyed no shortage of success with the options available to him, it is only natural that he would wish to put his own stamp of authority on the squad he inherited upon his arrival in west London.
It is understood that the former Borussia Dortmund boss wants to add a handful of new faces to his armoury this summer, with landing a new striker – ideally Erling Haaland of Dortmund – his top priority.
But it also appears as though he wants to strengthen his central-defensive options, given the links with Marquinhos.
Admittedly, Tuchel successfully brought out the very best in his current crop of centre-backs during the second half of the 2020/21 season, but Cesar Azpilicueta, Thiago Silva, Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen are all out-of-contract next summer, meaning there may be some thought going into the prospect of the Blues topping up their defensive options ahead of that quartet reaching the latter stages of their respective contracts.
But in a bid to avoid being left short on options in that area of the pitch, the Blues may turn to Marquinhos, who, of course, is very well known to Tuchel, following the latter’s time in the French capital.
During Tuchel’s time in charge at the Parc des Princes, Marquinhos was a regular fixture in his team, often playing at centre-back or slightly further forward in central defensive-midfield.
But wherever he was deployed and asked to play under Tuchel, the German was always full of praise for what he brought to the team, so much so that he waxed lyrical about him in October last year.
As quoted by Ligue1.com, Tuchel said: “Marquinhos is the heart and soul of our team. That’s why he must play at the heart of the action, but also because he’s talented.
“He has all the qualities to play in midfield, and has a worker’s mentality. He can help the defenders and the forwards at the same time. It’s important that he’s close to everybody as he’s the boss.
“Marqui covers more ground than anybody else in the team and is valuable in the counter-pressing.”
As outlined above, the Brazilian can play at either centre-back or defensive-midfield, a quality that also drew praise from his former head coach.
“If ‘Marqui’ needs to play at the back, then he will, but he has proven his ability in midfield,” Tuchel added. “He can really push the team to its best level.
“He did that several times last season [2019/20], notably during the ‘Final 8’ [UEFA Champions League] in Portugal. He scored against Atalanta and Leipzig. He is exceptional.”
With Tuchel delivering a verdict like that it proves exactly why the German is reportedly keen on being reunited with him in west London.
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As well as hailing his footballing abilities and capability of playing in different roles, Tuchel also praised the Brazilian’s mentality, which can be just as important, especially when pushing for titles and trophies.
At this moment in time, it has not been reported how much PSG would want for Marquinhos’ services, as he is under contract until the summer of 2024.
However, with PSG believed to be on the cusp of signing former Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos, they may be willing to let Marquinhos go if the price is right.