Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel speaks out on Antonio Rudiger’s contract standoff
Antonio Rudiger has been one of the Premier LLeague’s standout players so far this season, but his future at Stamford Bridge remains unclear with his contract set to expire in the summer
Thomas Tuchel insists everyone at Chelsea wants Antonio Rudiger to stay at the club as negotiations over a new deal continue to be deadlocked.
Rudiger has arguably been Chelsea’s player of the season so far, with the Blues sitting atop the Premier League and qualification to the Champions League last-16 assured.
Tuchel’s charges have conceded a league low four goals in their opening 12 games and the German international has played an integral role in that record.
But along with defensive colleagues Andreas Christensen, Thiago Silva and Cesar Azpilicueta, Rudiger is set to become a free agent at the end of the current campaign.
Signed from Roma for £29million back in 2017, the central defender is yet to extend his contract and wants his new salary to be reflective of his current standing in the squad.
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According to reports the 28-year-old would like to be paid in the region of £200,000-per-week with Stamford Bridge bosses unwilling to go beyond £150,000.
That has led to speculation regarding his future with Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich said to be very interested in signing him.
But Tuchel, whose side beat Juventus 4-0 on Tuesday night, has said everyone is on the same opinion regarding Rudiger and suggesting that delays in negotiations are to be expected.
“He’s been outstanding from the first day to now. I hope it stays like this,” the German boss explained.”Defensively we are strong as usual and they deserve the praise for it.
“They do a lot of invisible work, they protect each other, support and are brave in attacking. We want to be dangerous from set-pieces.
“Everybody wants him to stay, it’s clear and he knows it but sometimes there is a delay in these things and there is obviously a delay.
“It can happen these days but it does not affect his mentality, it doesn’t affect his quality, it doesn’t affect his behaviour.
“He is fully committed to Chelsea right now and I am absolutely sure he feels the trust, respect and love from the club and spectators.
“He knows what he has here, a fantastic club, fantastic league. He’s a competitor.
“We’ll have a bit of patience and hopefully a happy end.”
Rudiger found the net during Chelsea’s 3-0 win at Leicester City on Saturday and speaking after the game, Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand told the European champions to pay him whatever he wants.
“Well, I think they’ve got to pay him so he is feeling that he’s getting paid what he feels he should be, which is at the upper echelons of the squad,” Ferdinand told BT Sport.
“Wherever the highest earners are, I think he sees himself as part of that.
“If you look in this squad of players you wouldn’t want to lose, for a number of weeks or a number of games, he’d be one of the first on your list in terms of you’d want to keep him in there.
“I think it’s two different parties looking at the situation and the player and his management team will be having their cards close to their chest and the club will be the same.”