Chelsea fans will be growing increasingly more concerned by the apparent contract impasse between the Blues and star defender Antonio Rudiger.
Rudiger, 28, is out of contract at Stamford Bridge at the end of the season and there has been very little encouragement that the centre-back will renew his deal.
The 28-year-old has been at Chelsea since he joined in 2017 following a modest £31.5m move from Italian side Roma.
Since arriving in the country’s capital, although the Germany international appeared to be somewhat of a fringe player under previous managers, recent seasons have seen him emerge as one of Thomas Tuchel’s most trusted senior first-team players.
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Having featured in 43 matches, in all competitions, under Tuchel, Rudiger not only played an integral role in the Blues’ Champions League win last season but has also been pivotal in the impressive start his side have made during the current 2021-22 Premier League season.
Antonio Rudiger could leave Chelsea at the end of the season for free.
However, according to a recent report from Goal, despite being offered a new deal within the region of £7m-per year, Rudiger has rejected the chance to sign on the dotted line.
Ahead of what is set to be a frantic few weeks before the 28-year-old will become eligible to speak to clubs outside of England, Goal claims Carlo Ancelotti’s Real Madrid is growing increasingly more optimistic that they may be able to capture the commanding defender on a free transfer.
When discussing the defender’s current contract situation earlier this year, Tuchel (as quoted by Sky Sports), said: “He is a big competitor and he is in exactly the right spot.
“He is in the most competitive league, he is at a club where he really matters and that suits him perfectly, so let’s be patient and hopefully we have a good ending.”