Chelsea have Lukaku and Haaland transfer plan to fend off Man City

Manchester City certainly will. If their Abu Dhabi ownership has proved anything, it is that there is no end game, no summit to be reached before they quietly go away.

Coming so tantalisingly close to a first Champions League trophy will only see them redouble efforts to win it next time. They want Harry Kane. Jack Grealish, too.

Chelsea have conquered Europe, but there is no doubt about City’s status as the finest in the land. They will begin next season as heavy favourites to win a fourth Premier League title in five years.

Victory in Porto on Saturday was owed to Thomas Tuchel’s remarkable ability to harness the bloated squad he inherited and cajole them into Pep Guardiola’s worst nightmare. But whether they are capable of keeping pace with City throughout an entire campaign is another question entirely.

What is clear is that Abramovich’s decision to dispense with Frank Lampard allowed him to swoop for one of the game’s truly elite managers, who just happened to be available after his sacking from Paris Saint-Germain over Christmas.

The work Tuchel has done over four months is evidence of the benefits of installing a world-class coach; rescuing Chelsea’s crumbling season and leading them to club football’s greatest prize. Abramovich is not a man to stand still — and nor is Tuchel.

“It’s about the next one,” said the still-hoarse German. “I can assure [Abramovich] that I will stay hungry, that I want the next title. We have work to do to close the gap, and this is what I’m all about.”

Conversations on Sunday between the owner and manager were based on future plans, including a new contract for Tuchel.

That a combined XI between Saturday’s finalists would most likely be heavily dominated by City players underlines the level to which Tuchel has got under Guardiola’s skin. But this is also a Chelsea side with room to improve; Mason Mount, Kai Havertz, Christian Pulisic, Reece James, Ben Chilwell and Andreas Christensen among them. The same can be said of Timo Werner, but there are doubts over his potential to reach the required level.

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