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Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Timo Werner's concerning Antonio Rudiger message and Chelsea's 3 decisions to dictate transfers

  Chelsea's season has been surrounded by talk of expiring contracts. The Blues found themselves in the unusual situation of havin...

 

Chelsea's season has been surrounded by talk of expiring contracts. The Blues found themselves in the unusual situation of having four key members of their backline with deals set to run out in the summer of 2022. Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen , Cesar Azpilicueta and Thiago Silva all entered Thomas Tuchel's first full term as Chelsea coach with their future up in the air. Brazilian veteran Silva extended his contract in January but the Blues still await a breakthrough with the rest of the trio.

While chatter has been fairly relaxed over Azpilicueta, the Spaniard's decision is likely to be predicated on where he wants to take his career as opposed to any financial disagreement given his status at the club, whereas drama has surrounded Christensen and Rudiger. Both defenders have flourished since Tuchel's arrival, with the difficult situation arising in Rudiger's case, possibly because of his change in status following his countryman's arrival and transforming the 28-year-old into Chelsea's undroppable centre-back. The Germany international and his Danish teammate are both able to discuss their future with overseas clubs, with the likes of PSG and Real Madrid linked to the former, and Christensen linked with a move to Barcelona. Talks with Chelsea continue for Rudiger, which is a positive at this stage for the Blues, but teammate Timo Werner believes the former Roma star could pick any club.

Werner told Sky Sports Germany : "I would be happy if they stay. They can improve every team. There are still a lot of good central defenders [for other teams to buy]. “He [Rudiger] plays incredible. As a free agent he could choose where he goes."

While it is unclear whether Werner is privy to Rudiger's discussions, it's clear nothing is set in stone. Rudiger is searching for the final big contract of his career and has options. Given his importance, the Blues will need to have a plan in place should they need to replace him. With Christensen and Azpilicueta also at risk, Tuchel could find himself in a time of difficult transition for the Blues backline. In the midst of the January transfer window, Chelsea's focus has been to find a new wing-back following Ben Chilwell's season-ending injury and the absence of Reece James.

However, former Stamford Bridge midfielder Gus Poyet believes resolving internal contract issues should be the priority for the club. He said: "Chelsea, it's not about players coming in, it's about the situation with three defenders - (Cesar) Azpilicueta, (Andreas) Christensen and (Antonio) Rudiger. "It's very unusual, a week ago, four players were finishing contracts, more or less in the same line, central defenders. And the oldest one (referring to Thiago Silva) renewed first. Normally it is the opposite - the youngest one renews. This shows that it's not been easy.

"I think it will depend on what happens with those three. If Chelsea find, already, someone, in the long term they can sign in that position, they would probably do it. "The rest, someone who can play left wing-back if Marcos Alonso gets suspended or injured, probably. With the wing-backs out and Ben Chillwell injured for a long time, maybe they'll bring someone in there. We'll see."

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