Antonio Rudiger is out of contract at the end of the season and is able to discuss a pre-contract with foreign clubs; Real Madrid, PSG, Bayern Munich and Juventus are all in talks with his representatives; Man Utd interim boss Ralf Rangnick is also an admirer of the Chelsea defender
Tuesday 4 January 2022 21:30, UK
Thomas Tuchel said he is hopeful Antonio Rudiger will stay at Chelsea despite Real Madrid, PSG, Bayern Munich and Juventus opening talks with the defender.
Rudiger's Chelsea contract expires at the end of the season and he is now free to discuss a deal with foreign clubs ahead of a free transfer in the summer, and a number of overseas sides are in discussion with the player's representatives about a potential move.
But Tuchel told reporters ahead of Chelsea's Carabao Cup semi-final first leg with Tottenham on Wednesday he was hopeful the 28-year-old was aware of his admiration of his work, having turned him from a fringe player into a mainstay of his Chelsea defence since he was appointed head coach a year ago.
"I cannot predict the future and I don't know if his representatives are talking to other clubs or not," he said. Of course, it is possible, it is January and he hasn't signed a new contract with us yet but we are in communication with him, the club is in dialogue with his people.
"I assume he is very aware of what I demand from him and how much I appreciate him. The level on which he is playing is still super-high and outstanding, there are no doubts the situation is a concern for that.
"My opinion is very clear, the club is trying their very best with him so the situation has not changed a lot."
Ralf Rangnick, the Manchester United interim manager who will take up a consultancy at Old Trafford in the summer, is also an admirer of Rudiger and knows the Chelsea defender's brother - who is also his agent - well.
Chelsea remain keen to extend Rudiger's contract and remaining at Stamford Bridge has not been ruled out by the Germany international's camp.
However, the Blues' most recent offer - made at the start of the season - was dismissed by Rudiger and his representatives as it promised to pay him only half of what the club's top earners make.
Despite the uncertainty over his future, Rudiger is understood to remain committed to Chelsea for the remainder of his contract and focused on helping Tuchel's side achieve their objectives.
Tuchel continues to count on Rudiger, with the head coach starting his compatriot in 20 Premier League games this season - the most of any Chelsea outfield player.
Rudiger joined Chelsea from Roma in July 2017 and has gone on to win the FA Cup, Europa League and Champions League with the club.
Chelsea could be facing further departures in defence this summer, with Cesar Azpilicueta, the captain, and Andreas Christensen also seeing their contract expire this summer.
Sky Italia transfer guru Gianluca Di Marzio told Sky Sports News:
"Juventus talked to Antonio Rudiger's agent, but they're not too confident that they are in pole position [to sign him]. There are more important clubs who want to sign Rudiger.
"If he was to come back to Italy, Juventus would like to have him back. The strategy at the club is different now - less money, less investment, so if he has PSG or other important clubs in Spain, I don't think Juventus are the favourites to sign him."
Who will be on the move in January?
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