Thomas Tuchel makes Antonio Rudiger plea as Chelsea battle to convince defender to sign new contract

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·2-min read
Thomas Tuchel makes Antonio Rudiger plea as Chelsea battle to convince defender to sign new contract
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Thomas Tuchel has told Antonio Rudiger that Chelsea is the perfect club for him amid interest from Real Madrid and Bayern Munich.

The Germany international is out of contract at the end of the season, with talks over an extension having stalled.

Rudiger is believed to want in the region of £190,000-a-week to commit his future to Stamford Bridge, and with no agreement reached, is currently set to walk away for nothing next summer.

But Tuchel hopes he can yet be convinced to stay, telling the centre-back: “For me, he is a big competitor and he is in exactly the right spot. He is in the most competitive league and at a club where winning matters, so let’s be a bit patient and hopefully we have a happy end.

“The situation is the situation. We want him to stay, this is very clear and he knows it. But sometimes in these situations there is a certain delay and, obviously, there is a delay in these talks and his decision.

“It can happen these days but it does not affect his mentality, it doesn’t affect his quality, it doesn’t affect his behaviour. He is fully committed to Chelsea right now and I am absolutely sure he feels the trust, respect and love from the club and spectators.”

Rudiger has been a key player since Tuchel took charge in January - going from the fringes under Frank Lampard to a lynchpin of Chelsea’s Champions League triumph in May. His form under the German has been a major factor behind Europe’s biggest clubs pursuing him.

He was on target against Leicester on Saturday, opening the scoring in Chelsea’s 3-0 win.

Rudiger will be free to negotiate with overseas clubs in January and Tuchel is sounding increasingly resigned to losing him.

Antonio Rudiger could leave Chelsea for nothing next summer with contract talks stalled (Chelsea FC via Getty Images)
Antonio Rudiger could leave Chelsea for nothing next summer with contract talks stalled (Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

Despite being pivotal in helping Rudiger rediscover his finest form, the Chelsea manager accepts that will have little effect on the player staying.

“I think Toni can deliver top quality no matter who is on the sideline,” he said. “He was a strong player in Italy and played under several strong coaches for Chelsea. He was always strong.

“We have a good relationship and he feels the trust and respect. He knows what to do, accepts his role, lives his role to the maximum and this is what we demand.

“We demand a lot from him and he delivers a lot. But I don’t think it’s dependent by who is on the sideline. I think a good relationship, a trustful and honest relationship, helps everyone. It helps me as a coach and every player. We want to instil this and keep this.

“At the moment, this is what we have. So it’s now Toni and my duty to keep this going.”

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