Tuchel urges Chelsea star he is ‘not happy’ with to ‘step up’ by changing mind, as selection issue answered

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel pointing

Thomas Tuchel has admitted that Chelsea are “not happy” that Andreas Christensen could be leaving the club, but is refusing to allow that to affect his judgements of team selection.

Christensen is one of a few Chelsea players approaching the end of their contracts. The Danish defender is due to become a free agent in the summer. Although Chelsea have been working to renew his deal, it now seems likely he will be leaving.

Previously, they had more optimism of keeping Christensen. However, it now appears he will be joining Barcelona. Some reports have even claimed he has undergone a medical ahead of a pre-contract agreement with the La Liga giants, which could be confirmed in the coming days.

For now, Christensen must remain focused on his duties with Chelsea, who have owned him since 2012. But the 25-year-old could soon shift his attention to Barcelona.

Asked about his contract situation, Tuchel told a press conference: “It is in doubt, no?

“We hear the rumours and the situation with Andreas, since many weeks, is clear and we are not happy about it. Personally and club representatives think it’s best for him to stay and we rely heavily on him.”

Despite it becoming increasingly likely that Christensen will be on his way out, Tuchel is not going to punish him by leaving him out of the team.

Christensen agrees 5 year deal with Barcelona for summer move

Andreas Christensen is off to Barcelona on a free transfer after agreeing a 5 year deal and turning down Premier League clubs Manchester United and Liverpool

Instead, he will continue to use the former Borussia Monchengladbach loanee while it is in the best interests of the club.

Asked if Christensen’s impending decision would affect how he uses him, Tuchel replied: “I don’t think so.

“If things happen, it’s normally the best thing not to take them personally. He is still our player and we will do what is best for us while he is a Chelsea player.

Christensen at crucial point

“He knows we appreciate him a lot and I think it’s a crucial point in his Chelsea career, he is in a perfect age and perfect moment with the system we play and the guys at his side.

“I think it’s the decisive moment to step up and be a huge player for Chelsea in the next years. If he decides otherwise, I will not take it personally.”

Andreas Christensen playing for Chelsea

In addition to Christensen, fellow defenders Antonio Rudiger and Cesar Azpilicueta are out of contract in June.

Both have been strong servants to Chelsea and it would be a blow to lose either. Tuchel cannot get in their heads, but is hoping they remain focused amid the uncertainty.

He said: “I can’t answer the question. I don’t know. Does it affect the players? You’d have to ask them.

“Right not, it’s still only March and we have time. But we have situations we want resolved and we haven’t been able to resolve so far.

“The players have done very well, so credit to them, but that shows the mentality of the club and in the building.”

Chelsea hoping to catch top two under Tuchel

Even with their status as European champions, Chelsea have not yet been able to convince some of their stars to stay.

But they are aiming to build for a brighter future, in which they will hope to compete with Liverpool and Manchester City for the Premier League title.

Some felt they would have this season, but they have fallen adrift. Tuchel believes the difference has been the consistency from the top two, whereas Chelsea suffered due to Covid-19 cases and injuries at crucial points of the season.

He said of keeping up with City and Liverpool: “We have everything. This is clear.

“No hiding, no excuses. This club provides everything. The culture, mentality, we have everything we need.

“There are some reasons why the gap opened but it is not the moment to complain or be too negative. We have what it takes and we will join the race.

“Man City and Liverpool produce these kind of results through every month. They don’t drop in performance. This is what happened to us.

“The Covid situation and injury situation in a certain moment caught us and had a huge influence on our points. But it’s not isolated.

“I agree with you, we are getting better and better in the moment. We are getting our form back, playing more fluid and lively. We’re more attractive, nicer to watch, we can feel the group stronger and stronger and this is the good news.”

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