Chelsea saw a bid as high as £72million rejected for PSG centre-back Marquinhos last summer, according to the French press. Ahead of the new campaign, the Blues were scanning the market for a new defender but failed to get any deal over the line after also struggling to strike an agreement for Sevilla’s Jules Kounde.
The Frenchman was the subject of a £42.5m offer from the European champions but Sevilla were not prepared to sell for less than at least £65m.
Chelsea could yet return for Kounde, who has continued to excel since being told he must remain at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.
Now it has emerged that Chelsea were in fact interested in Tuchel’s former player Marquinhos – even making a blockbuster bid for Thiago Silva’s former defensive partner.
It was only this time last year that Tuchel was dismissed at the Parc des Princes and relations with the majority of his old players remain strong.
According to L’Equipe, Chelsea lodged a whopping £72m bid for Marquinhos in the summer in an attempt to reunite Tuchel with his former captain.
It’s no secret that the German is a huge admirer of his former player, who he labelled “the heart and soul of our team” last year when in charge of PSG.
“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,” Tuchel said last October when moving the defender into midfield.
“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.
“If ‘Marqui’ needs to play at the back, then he will, but he has proven his ability in midfield. He can really push the team to its best level.
“He did that several times last season, notably during the ‘Final 8’ in Portugal. He scored against Atalanta and Leipzig. He is exceptional.”
Tuchel could yet try again to sign Marquinhos next summer when he is poised to potentially lose Antonio Rudiger.
Chelsea could also see Andreas Christensen and Cesar Azpilicueta depart Stamford Bridge.
The duo are still yet to hold progressive talks over a new deal and will be free to speak with foreign clubs from next summer.
There is however optimism Thiago Silva will be penning a second contract extension.
After initially signing on a one-year deal following his free transfer from PSG in 2020, Silva signed a one-year extension at the end of last season.
There is a belief he will repeat the move and do the same again at the end of this season.