Premier League • England

Chelsea take action after Antonio Rudiger turns up the heat with thinly-veiled contract dig

Antonio Rudiger warms up for Chelsea ahead of Premier League game at Stamford Bridge

Antonio Rudiger has put the ball in the club’s court after his latest comments on his contract status, and Chelsea have made their priority clear, claims a report.

The German has produced the form of his life ever since fellow countryman Thomas Tuchel took charge last season. The 28-year-old has been a mainstay on the left side of a back three, though his future at Stamford Bridge is far from certain.

Like Cesar Azpilicueta and Andreas Christensen, Rudiger is out of contract in the summer. Barcelona have been linked with both Azpilicueta and Christensen, but losing Rudiger would arguably be the biggest loss.

The centre-half has attracted attention from Real Madrid and PSG. Tottenham and Man Utd have both been credited with interest from within the Premier League.

Yet if Rudiger’s latest comments are anything to go by, he would love nothing more than to remain at Chelsea.

Speaking to the Athletic, Rudiger was asked what it’ll take for him to pen fresh terms. In his response, Rudiger put the onus on the club to match his demands when claiming it’s up to “other people” to make the decisions.

Rudiger puts contract hold-up on Chelsea

“I feel great here, I have always said it,” said Rudiger. “I think the way I play you can see that I’m happy here. But there are also other people who have to make decisions.”

Rudiger current pockets a reported £90,000-per-week. That makes him one of the lowest paid senior stars at Stamford Bridge.

The Blues reportedly offered a new deal worth £140,000-a-week earlier in the season. However, that proposal was rebuffed, and German newspaper Bild later claimed a follow-up offer had been treated like a ‘slap in the face’.

Rudiger offered massive wage by Manchester United

Rudiger offered massive wage by Manchester United

Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger given massive contract offer by Manchester United

The Athletic claim Rudiger is seeking £225,000-per-week. But according to the outlet, there now appears to be light at the end of the tunnel.

It’s noted Chelsea have now prioritised a Rudiger extension over Christensen specifically.

The Dane had previously given Chelsea the impression he would pen fresh terms on two separate occasions. Yet a contract remained unsigned, and talks over his new deal have now begun again from scratch.

As such, if Chelsea are to agree a new contract extension over the coming weeks and months, Rudiger’s will be at the front of the queue.

Unfinished business could prompt Chelsea stay?

In the aftermath of Chelsea’s Club World Cup victory, Rudiger pointed to winning the Premier League as the next trophy to tick off the list.

Chelsea have not finished higher than third since Rudiger arrived in 2017. However, if any manager can guide the Blues back to the summit, it’s Thomas Tuchel.

“Of course I want to win the Premier League,” said Rudiger after Chelsea sunk Palmeiras in Abu Dhabi.

“Does it keep getting better and better for me at Chelsea? Yes. We had never won this trophy (FIFA Club World Cup) in Chelsea’s history before. I’m very delighted that we didn’t give up, that we did our thing. We tried everything and won.

“I just want to help, I just want to be important and lead by example. This is the main thing. We all showed character against Palmeiras. None of us gave up.

“Thiago Silva gave away the penalty (for Palmeiras to equalise) but he didn’t lack anything. He continued and continued.

“And there was a great impact from the guys who came on from the bench, Hakim Ziyech, Christian Pulisic, Malang Sarr, Timo Werner and Saul Nigues. They all worked very hard.

“The Premier League is the toughest competition to be honest because Manchester City set a very high standard. We have to get to a point where we can go on a long marathon.”

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