Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger has spoken out on his future at Stamford Bridge alongside transfer-linked Bayern Munich boss Julian Nagelsmann.
Rudiger, 28, has entered the final year of his contract with the Blues, but an extension does not look close. As a result, links with a move across Europe in the coming months have recently emerged.
While Tottenham reportedly hold interest, the centre-back may be able sort out a move to an overseas club faster – and without a fee.
Indeed, Rudiger will be free to seal a pre-contract agreement with a European side in January.
The Germany international has enjoyed a resurgence of late under his fellow countryman Thomas Tuchel. Losing him in any way would be a blow, but more so on a free transfer.
By the same token, his next contract will be the last big one of his career, taking him into his early thirties.
Speaking to SID (via Sky Germany), Rudiger said: “For me, this will now be the most important decision of my professional career.”
However, he added: “I haven’t spoken to any other club than Chelsea.”
As for his potential transfer suitors, Bayern are supposedly among the European clubs keeping an eye on Rudiger’s situation.
Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid are also keeping tabs on him.
Still, Bayern boss Nagelsmann kept his cards close to his chest over a transfer when speaking about Rudiger.
Nagelsmann provides Bayern, Rudiger update
“I don’t like talking about players who are under contract with another club, I haven’t spoken to Brazzo [director Hasan Salihamidzic] about it yet, and if I had, I wouldn’t tell you!” the manager said.
“I just read that in the media as well. I’ll have to see when the contract expires and then I’ll see if I still have money in my wallet.”
Bayern recently added to their defensive line with ex-RB Leipzig centre-back Dayot Upamecano.
But interestingly, like Chelsea, they also have a star centre-back they would like to tie down. Niklas Sule’s contract expires next summer, like Rudiger’s.