Paris, March 18 (AFP/APP): Among the many eyebrow-raising comments made by Juventus chairman Andrea Agnelli recently was the suggestion that clubs involved in the Champions League would no longer be allowed to buy or sell players among themselves.
In his role as head of the European Club Association, Agnelli is at the forefront of plans to reshape the Champions League which include the likely expansion of the group stage to 36 teams, each playing 10 group games against 10 different opponents in a so-called ‘Swiss system’.
The discussed reforms are widely seen as a compromise between European football’s governing body UEFA and the continent’s most powerful clubs, preventing the threat of a breakaway ‘Super League’ but entrenching the positions of the richest teams.
Agnelli’s Juve are one of those, but they will be absent from Friday’s quarter-final draw following their shock last-16 defeat by Porto. Yet rather than the transfer of a player between two clubs, it is a coach who started the season in charge of one of Europe’s elite before joining another who made the biggest impression in the Champions League this week.
Thomas Tuchel was sacked by Paris Saint-Germain in December despite winning a Champions League group also containing RB Leipzig and Manchester United. In January he joined Chelsea and the impact the German has had in seven weeks has been remarkable.
On Wednesday they saw off La Liga leaders Atletico Madrid 2-0 at Stamford Bridge to win their last-16 tie 3-0 on aggregate.
Tuchel took over a side struggling for consistency under Frank Lampard and immediately turned them into a supremely disciplined unit that has conceded just two goals and remains unbeaten in his 13 games in charge.
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