Chelsea would prefer to sell Abraham to a foreign team than a Premier League rival; 23-year-old striker fell out of favour at Stamford Bridge after Thomas Tuchel replaced Frank Lampard; Arsenal also interested in signing England forward
Thursday 12 August 2021 13:59, UK
Roma have agreed a £34m deal to sign Tammy Abraham from Chelsea, reports Sky in Italy.
The 23-year-old striker must now decide if he wants to join the Italian club, who are managed by former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho.
Fellow Serie A side Atalanta and Arsenal are also interested in Abraham, but Chelsea's preference is to sell him to a foreign club, making a move to their London rivals less likely.
Abraham fell out of favour at Chelsea midway through last season as Thomas Tuchel replaced Frank Lampard as head coach and was left out of the squad for May's Champions League final, despite being fully fit.
The imminent arrival of Romelu Lukaku from Inter Milan is set to push Abraham further down the pecking order and all but end the possibility of him staying at Stamford Bridge.
Despite his limited game-time during the second half of last season, Abraham ended the campaign as Chelsea's joint-top scorer with 12 goals.
He has featured in each of Chelsea's three pre-season friendlies and could be involved as they take on Villarreal in the Super Cup final on Wednesday.
Mourinho was in charge at Stamford Bridge as Abraham was coming through the Chelsea academy, but the forward didn't make his first senior appearance for the Blues until after the Portuguese had left the club.
Abraham's form for Chelsea under Lampard saw him feature for England in Euro 2020 qualifying and in their most recent Nations League campaign but, after a lack of playing time under Tuchel, he drifted out of Gareth Southgate's plans in the months before this summer's tournament.
Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel has accepted some responsibility for Tammy Abraham's lack of opportunities last season as the striker's future at Stamford Bridge lies in the balance.
Although Tuchel refused to directly address Roma's offer during his press conference ahead of the Super Cup final, the head coach said: "Tammy is right now in the squad. He did some good preparation matches.
"He was clearly not happy with the last half a year and maybe he has reason also not to be happy and maybe it was also my fault not to push him, not to trust him on the same level I maybe trusted other players.
"I can absolutely understand that he wants more minutes. So the decision will be 'how do we plan, what are Tammy's plans, does he fight his way back into the team from the position where he ended last season or does he want to change club to have the chance of being a regular starter?'"
Chelsea head coach Tuchel has been reluctant to admit a deal for Lukaku is close, but did stress the No 9 role is an area the club are looking to strengthen after Olivier Giroud left the club to join AC Milan.
"We lost Olivier Giroud who played a crucial role in the club," Tuchel told Sky Sports. "He was the kind of profile who likes to play with his back to goal, who likes to hold up balls, who creates space for Werner, Havertz, Pulisic; who is ready to fight physically with defenders.
"This is the kind of profile that we don't have in our squad right now and that we are looking for. It's still not the moment to talk about names because we have nobody signed yet and we will show all the respect to other clubs.
"Romelu is one of the guys like Haaland at Dortmund, Lewandowski at Bayern, Harry Kane at Tottenham, who is a real No 9 who loves to score and who has a presence in the box. That is not a secret. The sentence [Tuchel describing Lukaku as a 'fantastic player'] is easy to repeat for any coach in the world.
"But [his] is the kind of profile we're looking for and if it is possible to convince agents and clubs we will do our best."
Tuchel also stressed the need to improve after "big signings" elsewhere in the form of Jack Grealish to Manchester City and Jadon Sancho to Manchester United.
"They are big signings and we are also trying to improve the squad; at the same time we give all our energy to the guys that we have - it's our goal to improve the group we have," Tuchel added.
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