Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel wades into vaccine row as he warns unjabbed stars he would THINK TWICE before signing them… as he insists managers MUST factor vaccination status into future transfer deals
- Thomas Tuchel is factoring in a player’s vaccination status prior to signing them
- The Chelsea boss says that managers need to consider status before deals
- A number of Premier League clubs have had to leave unjabbed stars behind
- Pre-season trips to USA have caused havoc as vaccines are required for entry
Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel says he will think twice about signing unvaccinated players, after N’Golo Kante and Ruben Loftus-Cheek missed he club’s pre-season trip to America thanks to their Covid jab status.
The midfielders have stayed at home while the manager and the rest of his squad jetted across the Atlantic. Travellers not fully vaccinated against coronavirus are not permitted to enter the United States.
Manchester City pair John Stones and Phil Foden also did not travel with their tourning party to the US as a result of failing to meet Covid entry requirements.
Other Premier League sides – notably Crystal Palace – have experienced similar issues, while Sportsmail reported Gareth Southgate could leave unvaccinated stars at home ahead of the World Cup.
Some agents say that managers lose interest when they hear a player is not vaccinated, and Tuchel admitted he would have to consider carefully whether to sign unjabbed players in future.
‘Yes, it has to,’ Tuchel said when asked if vax status is part of his thinking. ‘It is a very normal decision to get vaccinated.’
Thomas Tuchel has revealed vaccination status will now play a role before he signs a player
Chelsea have had to leave N’Golo Kante off their pre-season tour because he is unvaccinated
Both Kante and Loftus-Cheek featured in a friendly match against National League side Boreham Wood this week as they look to maintain their fitness away from the main group, who are currently in Las Vegas.
The Premier League revealed back in late January that 80 per cent of top-flight players in England are fully vaccinated, but they have not provided an update since then.
As a result the issue of player vaccination is a hot topic at this moment, with Sportsmail revealing on Friday how England boss Southgate is mulling over the impact of unjabbed stars on his World Cup squad.
The same goes for Ruben Loftus-Cheek (right), as he took on Boreham Wood this week
Southgate is contemplating an unpalatable choice between leaving some vaccine refuseniks out of his squad entirely, as Chelsea and Crystal Palace have done on their pre-season tours, or going into England’s opener with reduced numbers.
The issue of vaccine refusal is also affecting other World Cup sides, such as France, with Kante one of several international stars who have yet to be vaccinated, but England’s problem is more acute as they have been given an opening-day game.
FIFA are understood to be lobbying Qatar to relax its Covid vaccine rules ahead of the tournament.