Chelsea have now resigned to lose midfielder Antonio Rüdiger on a free transfer in 2022, 90min understand, with the German who will be one of the most sought after players on the continent.
Rüdiger’s contract at Stamford Bridge expires this summer and talks about a new deal have long been at a dead end, with the Blues’ latest offer far from matching his desire to become one of the club’s highest paid players.
It would be seen as a reward for a remarkable 12 months of star form since Thomas Tuchel replaced Frank Lampard as Chelsea’s head coach – during which time the 28-year-old has collected a Champions League winning medal and established himself as one of the best central. defenders in the world, which have previously been seen as something of a responsibility.
But 90min understands that the difference between Chelsea’s latest offer and Rüdiger’s demands means that the club’s hierarchy has almost accepted that the German national team player will not write new terms to stay in west London.
Rüdiger is free to negotiate his next move from January, and as many as 11 top European clubs are vying for the rare opportunity to sign a top-flight player without paying a transfer fee.
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That includes all of the Blues’ big Premier League rivals Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham. Outside of England, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, RB Leipzig, Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus and Inter have all registered their interest and are preparing offers for January.
At this early stage, Real Madrid and PSG are believed to be the best, but Rüdiger and his representatives have not yet made any major decisions.
Tuchel is said to have wanted the club’s hierarchy to prioritize retaining Rüdiger, but it seems increasingly likely that he will not get what he wants.
Speaking in November, the Chelsea boss said: “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 conversations and his decisions.
“It can happen nowadays but it does not affect his mentality, it does not affect his quality, it does not affect his behavior. He is fully committed to Chelsea right now and I am absolutely sure he feels the trust, respect and love from the club and the spectators. . “
The German coach will be sure that Chelsea are convinced to sign new deals for both Andreas Christensen and Cesar Azpilicueta – two defenders who are also without a contract at the end of the season.
This is despite the fact that Christensen was left out of the team for three matches as a result of his agent backing on a new contract that was agreed upon months ago and changed his requirements.
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