Thomas Tuchel has confirmed Chelsea’s defensive lynchpin Antonio Rudiger will leave the club at the end of the season.
Antonio Rudiger has become the hottest defensive prospect in the market right now, with multiple clubs in contention to snap him up in the upcoming summer transfer window.
The Chelsea defender’s current contract expires at the end of the season. The club have expressed the desire to keep him at Stamford Bridge for longer, but the two parties have not been close to reaching an agreement for months now. Reports suggest Rudiger is quite unhappy with Chelsea’s unwillingness to offer him a lucrative deal despite his excellent performances under Thomas Tuchel.
With the saga going on for months now, Rudiger’s potential exit at the end of the season has been one of the worst kept secrets in the transfer market this year. And in a recent presser, Chelsea coach Thomas Tuchel has finally offered an update on the defender’s future, confirming his departure in the summer.
“The situation is that he wants to leave the club. He informed me of this in a private talk. We gave everything – me and the club – but we could not fight anymore because of the actions,” said Tuchel, as quoted by Goal.
The German believes Chelsea’s sanctions owing to connections with Roman Abramovich had played a key role in crippling them in negotiations, adding, “Without the sanctions we would at least be able to carry on fighting, but our hands are tied. We don’t take it personally. It is his decision.”
The Blues are indeed barred from holding talks with existing players over a contract extension. As such, Rudiger will become one of two Chelsea defenders set to leave Stamford Bridge on a free transfer after the end of the season, with the other being Andreas Christensen. The Dane is likely to join Barcelona in the new season after reaching verbal agreement at the start of last month.
As for Rudiger, his future remains undecided. Real Madrid are reportedly closing in on the capture of the star defender, but the likes of Manchester United and Barcelona have been involved in the equation as well, so it will be interesting to see what the future holds for the German international this summer.