Chelsea: Tuchel laughs off question on Werner's future
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Thomas Tuchel is set to rectify the transfer error that had seen talks with Antonio Rudiger not scheduled until after this summer’s European Championships. The German is currently set to leave on a free transfer in 2022, but Tuchel is keen to keep the defender at Stamford Bridge.
Rudiger had been frozen out under Frank Lampard, with the 28-year-old failing to get a minute of action in all but two of Chelsea’s first 17 Premier League matches.
In fact, Rudiger’s Chelsea future appeared to be so bleak under Lampard that he came close to joining Paris Saint-Germain on loan.
But since Lampard was sacked by the Blues, Rudiger has become a key member of Tuchel’s backline, helping to keep seven clean sheets in the nine top-flight games he has appeared in.
And with Rudiger cementing himself in Tuchel’s line-up, Chelsea are now concerned that he could depart on a free transfer when his contract comes to an end in 18 months.
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They originally planned to begin negotiations with the defender after the Euros, with the Daily Mail reporting that the club believed it would increase interest in the defender.
But with Tuchel favouring a defence based around a back three, the German manager is keen to keep his compatriot.
And the Chelsea hierarchy appear to agree, with the Metro claiming that talks have been brought forward to ensure he stays in London.
If he does not sign a new deal, the defender would be able to sign a pre-contract agreement with overseas clubs from January.
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Rudiger’s importance to Tuchel’s defence is clear, with his tackle success percentage far higher than fellow Blues centre backs Thiago Silva and Andreas Christensen.
The German has also won more defensive duels than Christensen and contributed to nine clean sheets so far this campaign.
And in a boost to both Tuchel and Chelsea, Rudiger also appears to be keen to stay at Stamford Bridge.
“Even at the beginning of the season when things didn’t go my way, I was always calm, like I am now,” he told PA Media.
“Whatever happens I love being at Chelsea, so Chelsea will always be my priority number one.
“Everyone, me and the club know how much I like this club, so it’s down to the people who make these types of decisions.
“At the moment for me it’s to concentrate on important matches and targets. The rest, I think I’m sure we will resolve it.
“At the end of the day I cannot give myself a contract. So that’s why I have to wait to see what happens.”
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