Antonio Rudiger ‘wants to make a decision on his Chelsea future in the next two weeks’ – but uncertainty over the new Blues owner could lead to the key defender leaving Stamford Bridge
- Antonio Rudiger will decide on whether to stay at Chelsea soon, claim reports
- The Blues defender is said to want to make a final decision in the next two weeks
- Rudiger’s contract expires at the end of the season and he could leave for free
- Barcelona, Real Madrid, Juventus and PSG are reportedly among the clubs keen
Antonio Rudiger has set himself a deadline of the next fortnight to make a decision on his Chelsea future, according to reports.
The centre back’s contract at Stamford Bridge expires this summer, and although the Blues are keen to keep him, there has been no agreement yet.
And as reported by the Athletic, uncertainty over who will take over from Roman Abramovich as Chelsea owner could hinder the club’s efforts to get Rudiger to put pen to paper.
The 29-year-old was out of favour under Frank Lampard but under manager Thomas Tuchel, has evolved into a key defensive lynchpin and leader on and off the pitch.
German stopper Rudiger has played 47 times in all competitions so far this campaign, scoring five goals – both of which are his highest totals across his five-year stint in West London.
With his deal expiring soon, he is therefore one of the highest-profile potential free agents, with almost every top European side vying for his signature.
Antonio Rudiger reportedly wants to make a call on his Chelsea future in the next two weeks
The club faces losing a key defensive lynchpin for nothing at the end of his current contract
Although he has been able to sign a pre-contract agreement for a free move in the summer with any club outside England, he has not, leading some fans to hope he will stay. However, Rudiger’s end-of-April deadline could be bad news for Chelsea.
The club are unable to tie any players down to new contracts, or make any new signings for that matter, as part of the financial sanctions imposed on Russian owner Roman Abramovich following his country’s invasion of Ukraine.
Oligarch Abramovich is selling the club, with merchant bank Raine Group set to pick a preferred bidder from the three remaining soon, probably by May. However, with Rudiger’s cut-off fast approaching, the new owner may not take over soon enough.
Of course, even if a sale is completed in the very near future, the new owner may not consider a new contract for Rudiger the most important item in their in-tray, or be willing to sanction a sizeable pay increase, which he would likely demand.
Sanctions on Blues owner Roman Abramovich means the club cannot offer new contracts
Chelsea’s new owners could face a defensive crisis shortly after taking over, with Andreas Christensen set to join Barcelona and captain Cesar Azpilicueta also set to leave, both for free
The 50-cap international is currently thought to be paid around £90,000 per week, considerably less than, say, Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s reported £150,000-a-week deal, despite being a much more key player than the midfielder.
Manager Thomas Tuchel sees him as part of the club’s long-term future and wants him to stay, with the club apparently willing to compromise on a significant sign-on fee by offering in the region of £200,000-a-week.
Barcelona are reportedly heading up the queue to sign Rudiger, with Real Madrid, Juventus, and Paris Saint-Germain also expressing interest.
With defenders Andreas Christensen and captain Cesar Azpilicueta also potentially leaving this summer on free transfers, Chelsea’s new owners could face a defensive crisis shortly after taking over due to the procrastination of the previous regime.