Chelsea are in serious danger of losing a vital component in their defence after a fresh report dropped a bombshell.
Since taking the reins at Stamford Bridge in January, Thomas Tuchel has been everything Chelsea could’ve hoped for and more. The backbone of his success in England has been their impenetrable defence.
Cesar Azpilicueta continues to operate at an exceedingly high level week in,week out, while Thiago Silva and Andreas Christensen have excelled primarily in the middle of a three-man backline.
The final piece of their jigsaw is Antonio Rudiger. The German international was brought back in from the cold in the final days of Frank Lampard’s tenure. The mere fact he was cast aside in the first place raised eyebrows given his sparkling displays in the Tuchel era.
However, Rudiger – along with Azpilicueta and Christensen – are all in the final years of their contracts.
Rudiger in particular will command widespread interest from Europe’s big hitters. A recent report detailed interest from Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Juventus.
However, according to ESPN (citing French outlet Le10 Sport), it is PSG who are heading the queue. What’s more, it’s suggested they will likely succeed in scooping up yet another free agent acquisition after it was claimed Rudiger appears like he ‘won’t sign new terms at Stamford Bridge’.
Instead, he is described as ‘waiting’ until January at which time he will be free to negotiate a pre-contract agreement with foreign suitors.
Chelsea are described as ‘working hard’ to resolve the contract stand-off. But with each passing week, PSG are growing ever more confident of landing the 28-year-old next summer.
In further bad news, it’s stated Rudiger’s representatives have ‘barely touched base’ with Chelsea chief Marina Granovskaia.
The idea of losing Rudiger is an unpalatable one for Tuchel. Spanish outlet Fichajes recently declared Rudiger, Christensen and Azpilicueta to be ‘fully trusted’ by the manager. Additionally, Tuchel could reportedly not begin to ‘contemplate’ a Chelsea side without any of the trio.
The onus is therefore on Chelsea to pin Rudiger down to fresh terms or risk the wrath of Tuchel. But if ESPN’s report is anything to go by, the chances of Rudiger remaining in London are looking increasingly slim.
Chelsea transfer pursuit will span multiple windows
Meanwhile, reports claim Chelsea will continue to pursue Sevilla defender Jules Kounde in the next two transfer windows after failing to land their target this summer.
The Blues made no secret of their desire to sign the 22-year-old during the off season. Multiple reports during the summer window suggested it was only a matter of time before he arrived at Stamford Bridge. But the Spanish outfit then upped their asking price as deadline day approached.
The Evening Standard back up claims that the Stamford Bridge outfit still want the France international on board.
It is said that owner Roman Abramovich will unlock the funds required to get a deal done. That may be in the winter window or next summer but Chelsea are still prioritising the former Bordeaux ace.
Kounde has made it clear he wants to play for Tuchel’s side and was reportedly furious Sevilla blocked his move. But he is now back to work in LaLiga, with two league starts under his belt already this term.