Kai Havertz & Cesar Azpilicueta offer to pay Chelsea's travel costs

Krishan Davis
Havertz has offered to pay travel expenses
Havertz has offered to pay travel expenses / Clive Mason/GettyImages

Kai Havertz and Cesar Azpilicueta have both said they would be happy to foot the bill for Chelsea's travel to away matches.

Chelsea are currently operating under government measures after sanctions were imposed on the club's oligarch owner Roman Abramovich last week - a result of his alleged ties to the Kremlin and president Vladimir Putin in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

As well as restrictions on transfers, contracts and ticket sales, the Blues are also unable to exceed a travel budget of £20,000 for away matches.

Speaking in his press conference ahead of travelling to face Lille in the Champions League last 16 second leg on Wednesday, with an FA Cup quarter-final trip to Middlesbrough to follow, Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel suggested that limit could become problematic in terms of logistics and avoiding injuries.

"It isn't about luxury and bling-bling," he said. "This is just a professional level of sports, where we play with two days between matches with our opponent having four days between matches and we arrive with the possibilities of injuries. For that, it is better to arrive with a plan rather than a bus.

"We try to do it. From my understanding, we have a framework to go and play in Lille with absolutely no excuses. Regarding these organisations, it is already more difficult to arrange things on a professional level, in the best way possible, for the FA Cup. But we will deal with it."

Speaking after his manager, Havertz revealed he would be willing to pay for the team's travel for away fixtures.

"I will pay, it is not a problem and it isn’t a big deal," he said. "To get to the games is the most important thing. There are harder things going on in the world right now, so if we have to take a bus or plane to any away game, I will pay. It is not a problem.

"We are all professional footballers and everyone knows it is a strange situation for the club. We are the players so we have to focus on playing football matches, that is the best we can do.

"The other stuff, the club can sort out by themselves. I can’t speak about it much because we’re all focused on the games and this is the most important thing at the moment."

According to Mundo Deportivo, club captain Azpilicueta has also offered to pay for travel out of his own pocket.

On the pitch, Chelsea will be boosted by the returns of full-backs Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso for the trip to northern France, although the match may come too soon for Reece James and Callum Hudson-Odoi.

"Marcos is ready to start, Azpi is ready to start," Tuchel said. On James and Hudson-Odoi, he added: "We will try to have them later in training, but it will be a very, very tight race, so this decision we will take later, after the training sessions.

"But as you know they were not involved, and the injuries they had, let's see if this is worth the risk or if it's even possible, it will be very, very tight."

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