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Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel expecting Armando Broja to stay

Thomas Tuchel expecting Armando Broja to stay
© Reuters
Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel plays down speculation linking Armando Broja with a move away from Stamford Bridge and expects the striker to stay at the club this summer.

Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel has played down speculation linking Armando Broja with a move away from Stamford Bridge and expects the striker to stay at the club this summer.

The 20-year-old has caught the eye of a number of clubs in Europe after impressing on loan at Southampton last season, scoring nine goals in 38 appearances across all tournaments.

West Ham United are believed to be the frontrunners for Broja's signature, with one report claiming that they are close to agreeing a deal with Chelsea to take the striker on loan with an option to buy.

The Hammers had allegedly tabled a £30m bid for the Albania international prior to their loan offer, but Tuchel has reiterated that he intends to integrate the youngster into his first-team squad for the new campaign.

Armando Broja celebrates scoring for Southampton against Burnley on October 23, 2021© Reuters

Speaking to reporters, via Sky Sports News, on the club's pre-season tour of the USA, Tuchel said: "I don't expect [Broja] to leave.

"I'm aware of the offers and aware of the interest. We will make a decision together, the owner and me and the player. When he arrived it was clear he is trying to impress and become a Chelsea player.

"After his Southampton loan it's clear he wants to make the next step. Unfortunately he got injured and there is now a lot of interest in him. Let's see how that goes. He has a contract here."

Tuchel added: "We have a lot of options but not the type of Armando. Last season with him and Conor Gallagher we always have to weigh up what's good for them and the club. Is there a prospect of him getting minutes here.

"He has already played in the Premier League. With Armando we have to look at the situation very carefully and individually and decide do we have the minutes we can offer so he can grow here or give him another loan to give him match minutes."

Southampton's Armando Broja reacts on February 9, 2022© Reuters

Despite Chelsea's current stance on Broja, it is thought that West Ham are set to be joined by the likes of Napoli, Everton, Newcastle United and Southampton in the race for the striker's signature.

Napoli are on the lookout to replace attacking duo Lorenzo Insigne and Dries Mertens, while Everton manager Frank Lampard is in the market to replace Richarlison who has joined Tottenham Hotspur.

Former Chelsea boss Lampard was the man who handed Broja his professional debut for the West Londoners, with the striker coming on as a late substitute against the Toffees back in March 2020.

This cameo appearance, however, is the only time that Broja has represented Chelsea's senior side since joining the club's academy back in 2009.

Broja, who has four years remaining on his contract at Stamford Bridge, has recently left the club's pre-season tour of the USA to return to England for treatment on an injury sustained in training.

Harvey Vale, Tino Anjorin, Billy Gilmour have also left the States, the latter of whom is reportedly set to move to another club on loan for the 2022-23 campaign after spending last season with Norwich City.

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Armando Broja celebrates scoring for Southampton against Burnley on October 23, 2021
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