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Thomas Tuchel confirms Antonio Rudiger is leaving Chelsea as he details talks

Defender Antonio Rudiger will leave Stamford Bridge this summer when his existing deal expires after holding a private conversation with Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel

Thomas Tuchel has confirmed Antonio Rudiger will leave Chelsea this summer

Thomas Tuchel has confirmed Antonio Rudiger wants to leave Chelsea this summer.

The Blues manager revealed the defender’s desire after his team defeated West Ham 1-0 on Sunday afternoon to strengthen their grip on third. A last-minute goal from substitute Christian Pulisic at Stamford Bridge means Chelsea have moved seven points clear of Tottenham in fifth with a game in hand.

Rudiger is out of contract at the end of the season and various reports in the press suggested his time in London was up. Tuchel confirmed the rumours were true during his post-match press conference, much to his frustration.

The 29-year-old centre-back has been a key figure in Chelsea’s defence since Tuchel was appointed in January 2021, helping them win the Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and Club World Cup since. He’s played 48 games in all competitions this season.

The Blues offered Rudiger a £230,000-a-week contract, a significant improvement on his current wages – believed to be £100,000-a-week. This was Chelsea’s third offer. They were unable to make a fourth due to their owner’s situation.

Roman Abramovich was sanctioned by the UK government in March for allegedly having ties with Vladimir Putin, something he denies. Russian president Putin ordered his troops to invade neighbouring Ukraine last month, triggering a violent war in Europe.

Antonio Rudiger’s Chelsea career will end this summer
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LEXY ILSLEY/PPAUK/REX/Shutterstock)

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As a result of the sanctions, Chelsea are currently operating under a special license and are not allowed to negotiate new contracts. They are also unable to buy and sell players, among other restrictions. Abramovich is hoping to sell the club in the coming weeks.

“Toni, the media is on it – he situation is that he wants to leave the club,” confirmed Tuchel. “He informed me of this is in a private talk. We gave everything – me and the club – but we could not fight anymore because of the actions.

“Without the sanctions we would at least be able to carry on fighting, but out hands are tied. We don’t take it personally. It is his decision… he is a key figure and will stay that way until the end of the season. But it is disappointing.

“We will miss him a lot. He gives courage in the dressing room. The kind everyone is afraid of, but the kind to play 50-55 games at an outstanding level. He is a top defender in the last one and a half years for me. We then need to find another solution.”

On Chelsea’s performance against the Hammers, Tuchel added: “It seemed a bit stuck. But we knew it. It can feel like this against West Ham who defend with a lot of bodies and discipline. We have to wait for the moments.

“We had some accelerations with Mason from midfield but nobody was joining. It felt stuck. We controlled it but could not find spaces. It was also not the moment to take every risk after our recent results. We wanted to control their counter attacks.”

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