Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has said that Antonio Rudiger’s future could be out of his own hands as several clubs look into poaching the defender away from Stamford Bridge next summer.
Rudiger’s current contract expires at the end of the 2021/22 campaign as Marina Granovsksia looks to broker a deal that suits both the club and the player himself.
football.london understands that the west London club are keen to keep the German past his current contract but his demands of £140,000 a week have put the brakes on any potential breakthrough in negotiations.
It has even been reported that the stern businesswoman in Granovskaia could even go against the manager’s wishes in selling the 28-year-old next summer and bringing in long-term target Jules Kounde as a replacement.
Speaking in his pre-match press conference to the Tottenham game, Tuchel explained his feelings on his undroppable central defender: “I hope that they find solutions, but it’s not only between coaches and players, and what we wish for.
“And that’s why it’s between the club, the players and the agent at the moment. We hope that they find the solution and everything I can say, he plays excellent, and since a long time very consistent, on a very high level.
“I feel him very calm and focused, and it’s not a distraction for him. So everything is in place, and give things the time they need. Sometimes it needs a bit longer, sometimes things are very fast.
“There’s no news from my side, and I think that Toni feels very, very good at Chelsea, he feels very respected by his team-mates and he feels the importance that he has in the team and in the squad.
“That’s well deserved because he delivers, he feels the love from the supporters when he plays. He’s in the strongest league in Europe, in a big club, so not many reasons to change that.
“But in the end it’s between him and the club, and that’s in good hands. I am calm and relaxed, whatever has to happen will happen.”
Worryingly for Blues supporters- only a few days later after his press conference- the manager’s mood on the situation slightly changed as he admitted that the situation could be out of his hands.
He told Sky Sports in their own build-up to the Spurs derby: “Not too much [helping convince Rudiger to stay].
“I’m happy about it, because it’s not only between a coach and a player.
“He plays all the time and he deserves to play all the time and at the moment I’m feeling very calm and very focussed.
“I’m a bit concerned because you can never predict what’s going to happen with the situation like this but he’s fantastic, excellent and keeps on improving from game to game.
“He’s a key player for us, between us things are clear. But it can’t be between coach and player, there are agents involved, other clubs involved.”
The likes of Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus and Tottenham are a few of the clubs around Europe that are reportedly monitoring the situation ahead of Rudiger potentially becoming a free agent at the end of June if he doesn’t sign a new and improved contract.
The aforementioned quartet excluding Spurs can negotiate a pre-contract agreement with the former Roma man in January if the current situation remains.
On the pitch itself, Rudiger justified his demands for more money with his superb display for the west Londoners in their 3-0 victory over London rivals Spurs.
Not just that, but he even scored a rare goal in stoppage time to add more gloss over yet another top-class performance.