Thomas Tuchel has said the aim for his Chelsea side next season is to hunt down Manchester City in the Premier League.
The two sides will lock horns in the semi-finals of the FA Cup on Saturday, with Tuchel admitting his managerial style has been influenced by Pep Guardiola.
The German has huge admiration for his City counterpart, and conceded the gulf in class between the two sides is sizeable, but his target will be to take aim at the Premier League leaders next term.
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"We have to accept there is a gap between us," Tuchel said. "If you look at the fixtures in the last few years we have to accept it, but without making us feel small.
"From day one next season we will hunt them and try to close the gap. In Europe, there are two teams that are the benchmark: Manchester City and Bayern Munich."
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City are chasing four trophies this season and have a 20-point lead over fifth-place Chelsea in the Premier League.
Tuchel's and Guardiola's paths crossed in the Bundesliga when the German was in charge of Mainz and then Borussia Dortmund, while Spaniard Guardiola held the reins at Bayern Munich.
Before arriving in Germany, Guardiola led Barcelona to 14 trophies, including the Champions League twice, and Tuchel said he had learnt lessons watching the Catalan's methods.
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"He was a huge influence because when he was coach of Barcelona I was watching almost every game," Tuchel said. "I was very impressed by the way they made success happen with the style they were playing. I learned a lot watching the game and understanding more of the game.
"So it was a big, big lesson. At this time I was a coach at the academy and then at Mainz. Almost every game was a lesson and later we had the opportunity to play against him. It was a pleasure to meet him and fight at the highest level."
Tuchel said midfielder N'Golo Kante is available for Saturday's clash, but Mateo Kovacic and Andreas Christensen have been ruled out.
With additional reporting from Reuters
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