Premier League • England

Chelsea risk Tuchel wrath with ‘slap in the face’ offer sparking player unrest

Thomas Tuchel greeting Chelsea centre-half Antonio Rudiger 2021

Chelsea are exacerbating a problem of their own making after the latest contract offer put to Antonio Rudiger was treated as a ‘slap in the face’ by the German, according to a report.

The centre-half, 28, has been one of Thomas Tuchel’s most trusted generals since the German took charge. Despite being right-footed, Rudiger has made the left-sided centre-back role his own. In doing so, he has contributed towards a watertight defence that has become the envy of all across Europe.

However, Rudiger is in the final year of his contract at Stamford Bridge. He is not alone in that situation, with fellow defenders Cesar Azpilicueta, Andreas Christensen and Thiago Silva all out of contract next summer.

New deals for some or all of that quartet are expected over the coming months. But in Rudiger’s case, the plethora of interest from elite European clubs does give him plenty of options. Real Madrid, PSG and Bayern Munich are all monitoring his situation.

Tuchel previously went on record to state he’d be miffed if his countryman were allowed to leave. A recent report allayed those fears to some degree when suggesting he is still fully focused on Chelsea.

But according to Sport Witness (citing German newspaper Bild), Chelsea’s lacklustre offers are causing unrest with Rudiger.

They state Rudiger is seeking a renewal at €12m-per-year. Chelsea’s most recent offer totalled just over two thirds of that amount at €8.5m-per-year.

The article claims that particular offer was treated as a ‘slap in the face’ by Rudiger. Fostering his dismay is the fact Marcos Alonso is reportedly pocketing ‘€6m a year after-tax’.

Antonio Rudiger focused on Chelsea amid Bayern Munich interest

Antonio Rudiger has insisted that he's focused on Chelsea amid reported interest from Bayern Munich interest, with more news on contract worries for Chelsea's defensive options as well as Matthijs de Ligt.

The Spaniard has been in and out of Tuchel’s plans in 2021 unlike Rudiger who is a near ever-present. That has fuelled Rudiger’s discontent and Bild claim Bayern Munich could benefit as a result.

Stumping up the €12m-a-year he seeks will be no problem for the Bavarians. Their bigger issue will be in convincing Rudiger to leave Chelsea where he is settled and isn’t strong in his desire to leave.

But if Chelsea’s lowball offers continue, the defender’s outlook may well change.

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Meanwhile, Pundit Noel Whelan reckons Everton will be pulling off great business in January if they act on their interest in a Chelsea misfit.

The Toffees had to rely on cheap and free players during the summer as a result of their lavish spending in the past. They will break Financial Fair Play regulations if any more big names are brought in.

As such, Benitez drafted in the likes of Andros Townsend and Demarai Gray on the cheap. Both wingers have excelled thus far, and Whelan has backed Benitez to bring Ross Barkley back to Merseyside this winter.

Barkley is reportedly on the chopping block in January with a loan exit the most likely option. Leeds United have been linked, and Whelan reckons he’ll be a cracking signing for whichever club pulls the trigger.

“I think that would be a good signing and I can see it happening,” Whelan told Football Insider. We’re seeing a different Ross Barkley right now to the one we saw at Aston Villa last season – he’s got his mojo back.

“He’s got that hunger; he wants to impress when he comes off the bench at Chelsea – he’s pressing and hustling the opposition really well. He’s also capable of getting into that final third and causing teams problems in there, as well.”

READ MORE: Leeds advocated for Chelsea loanee’s next destination due to two Bielsa factors