Chelsea star makes ‘distracted’ transfer vow as major exit links grow

Jonny Whitfield
Antonio Rudiger, Callum Hudson-Odoi, livier Giroud and Cesar Azpilicueta celebrate Champions League final win, Chelsea

Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger has insisted that he will not let reported transfer interest from Bayern Munich cloud his judgement.

The 28-year-old is well into the final year of his contract, but is seemingly no closer to signing a renewal. In fact, recent reports suggested that boss Thomas Tuchel has now urged his club to tie the player down.

That is supposedly because of an unsatisfactory pay rise offer, especially following his turnaround at Stamford Bridge.

Alongside the uncertainty over his contract, Rudiger has transfer interest from across Europe.

While Bayern reportedly want to sign the Germany international, Real Madrid are also keeping tabs on his situation.

Rudiger insisted last month that he has not spoken to any club other than Chelsea and he reiterated that in another press conference to mark the start of the October international break.

“Of course, I’m honoured by [Bayern’s interest] and it proves that I’ve been doing things right,” the centre-back told Goal.

“But I won’t let myself become distracted. I have an obligation to my club to perform well.

Chelsea's Rudiger targeted by Bayern Munich and Juventus

Antonio Rudiger is reportedly a target for both Bayern Munich and Juventus, as the Blues are joined by Manchester United in the race for a French international, as Chelsea themselves register their interest in A.C Milan anchor Franck Kessie.

“I have to prove myself in every game and not let myself be distracted by rumours, I feel good at Chelsea where I am now, so that suits me.”

Rudiger signed for Chelsea from Roma in 2017 and has made 159 appearances for the Blues so far.

However, he has overcome the adversity of a struggle for game time under Frank Lampard to star under Tuchel. Indeed, he has played every minute in the Premier League this term.

According to transfer expert Fabrizio Romano, Rudiger feels “so happy” with Tuchel’s project and the salary of his new contract remains the key sticking point.

Bayern chief reacts to Rudiger talk

Antonio Rudiger in action for Chelsea

Meanwhile, Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic has also spoken about his club’s links with Rudiger.

He said: “It’s not okay when we talk about players who are with other clubs.

“Julian [Nagelsmann, Bayern manager] said that about him in the press conference, but he’s a coach who sees a lot of players – so why shouldn’t he rate an international and speak about his strengths?

“We are really well filled in the center-back position. We have strengthened ourselves very well and brought in a top player in Dayot Upamecano, Lucas Hernandez is here, Tanguy Nianzou is there, Benjamin Pavard can also play inside – we really are very, very well staffed.”

However, Rudiger’s fellow Germany international Niklas Sule finds himself in the same contractual situation as his compatriot.

He has less than one year left on his terms, but it remains unclear if he will renew.

Mo Salah vs Jamie Vardy – Which Premier League hitman is more likely to stay the course?