Andreas Christensen may have played his last game for Chelsea with FA Cup withdrawal not his first

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 (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
(POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Thomas Tuchel has opened up on Andreas Christensen’s late decision to pull out of the FA Cup final.

The Denmark defender informed Chelsea’s manager that he was not available for Saturday’s clash with Liverpool at Wembley on the morning of the game, despite not suffering from any injuries.

Tuchel revealed it is not the first time Christensen had declared himself not ready to play – and could not confirm if the player had made his final appearance for club, with just two games remaining of the season.

Christensen will join Barcelona as a free agent in the summer – and is a doubt for Thursday’s game against Leicester and Sunday’s season finale against Watford.

Tuchel said: “I’m not sure yet if he is involved tomorrow and on the weekend.

“Andreas came in the morning of the match to inform me, speak to me. He told me he was not ready to play the match, to start the match and be on the bench. He had his reasons. They will stay private and confidential.

“It was not the first time as you can see over the last weeks that we had some of the same situations. That’s why he did not play regularly over the last weeks.

“We thought we are in a good progression, development because he played a strong match before the final against Leeds. The conversation took place. We had to respect it. Of course. He has our support still, but for tomorrow I am unsure.

“He is probably unlikely [for the weekend]. It was very short notice before the cup final, not only before this match. Other matches the weeks before. No chance I have a prediction before tomorrow or the weekend.”

Chelsea worked hard to convince Christensen to remain at the club after establishing himself as a key player under Tuchel.

But the 26-year-old rejected a number of contract offers, despite Chelsea’s hierarchy believing an agreement had been reached before Christmas.

Tuchel added: “I don’t think it’s that he does not want to play, he was not able to play. It’s a big difference. We had more than this conversation, but on Saturday morning he finally told me.

“We had to accept it and we will accept it. I try the best I can to not take things personal and I still believe Andreas wanted to play these kinds of matches. I still believe he could in terms of potential and what he gives to the team, that’s why he was a key player for us.

“He struggled over the last weeks, as you can see when he was not in the squad or not playing although he was physically available, not injured.

“That was not completely out of the blue. That’s why it was not the ideal scenario for us. We thought we prepared in the best way possible for him in Leeds where he managed a lot of pressure on us in a very impressive way.

“We thought we had him available. He is a key player. If you arrive in a final against Liverpool you want everybody available which was not the case.”

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