Of Chelsea’s four (or five, depending on how you count César Azpilicueta) center backs, only one (1), Kurt Zouma, is currently signed beyond this season — and we’re actively shopping him around!
Antonio Rüdiger, Andreas Christensen, and Thiago Silva (and Azpilicueta, too) are all in the final year of their contracts. And while Silva and Azpi are both over 30 and thus on rolling one-year deals going forward as per club policy, the other two are in prime form. Fortunately, it looks like we’re not looking for transfers for either of the two. And it looks like we do have some long-term planning in place with efforts being made to acquire Jules Koundé and potentially setting up Trevoh Chalobah for a role starting next season (though that reading may be a naively hopeful on my part). And we’re also supposedly working on extensions for Christensen, 25, and Rüdiger, 28, though evidently not making much progress.
Rüdiger himself confirmed that in yesterday’s press conference, but refrained from revealing just how those talks may be going.
“I said before that I wanted to concentrate on the Euros and when I come back, talks can start. That’s what has happened. Talks have begun so we will see what time brings.”
-Antonio Rüdiger; source: Goal
The reticence of Toni (and Andreas as well) is certainly understandable. Twelve months ago, he was being pushed towards the exit door and while he’s become ever-present under Tuchel, we all know how limited the lifespan of a Chelsea manager can be.
It could become a rather precarious situation for Chelsea as well however, even if we’ve been stung by a few ill-advised contracts (and transfers) in recent years that have created significant bloat in the squad.