Antonio Rudiger: Chelsea will need to make defender one of club's highest earners to keep him

Antonio Rudiger has entered the final year of his contract and talks are ongoing with Chelsea over a new deal; Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel has insisted he was relaxed over the future of Rudiger, adding the Germany international has "not many reasons" to leave the club

Antonio Rudiger
Image: Antonio Rudiger is out of contract at Chelsea next summer

Chelsea are likely to have to make defender Antonio Rudiger among the highest paid players at the club if they are to keep him at Stamford Bridge.

Rudiger has entered the final year of his contract and talks are ongoing with Chelsea over a new deal.

Sky Sports News has been told six of European football's top clubs are ready to offer Rudiger a pre-contract in January ahead of a free transfer.

Rudiger loves Chelsea and will continue to give 100 per cent, but - at 28 - will assess all his options before committing to what he believes will be the biggest and most important contract of his career.

Last week, Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel insisted he was relaxed over the future of Rudiger, adding the Germany international has "not many reasons" to leave the club.

"I hope that they find a solution but it's not only between coaches and players," he explained. "It's between the club and the player's agent.

Antonio Rudiger was outstanding in Chelsea's 1-0 win over Zenit
Image: Thomas Tuchel says he is relaxed about talks with Rudiger over a new contract

"He plays excellent for a long time - very consistent [and] at a very high level. I feel him very calm, very focused and it's obviously not a distraction for him.

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"So give things time - sometimes it needs a bit longer, sometimes things get very fast. There's no news from my side."

Rudiger has re-established himself as a key player at Chelsea under Tuchel and played every minute of Chelsea's run through the knockout stages to win the Champions League in May.

Tuchel added: "I think Toni feels very, very good at Chelsea. He feels respect from his team-mates, he feels the importance he has in the team. It's well deserved because he delivers.

"He feels the love from the supporters. He plays in the strongest league in Europe and in a big club, so not many reasons to change. But it's in good hands. I'm calm and relaxed - whatever has to happen will happen."

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