Chelsea have done a fine job in handing out new contracts to all the young players in the squad — Tammy Abraham the only exception, but he still has three years to go after triggering a performance bonus — and have also tied down a couple key veterans to short extensions. Willian may yet join Olivier Giroud and Willy Caballero in that regard as well.
Antonio Rüdiger was supposedly set to join that group, with reports in early April claiming that Chelsea had started talks over a new contract for the 27-year-old.
But as the Mail reported yesterday, those talks have yet to even begin, let alone contain any sort of offer. And with only two years left on Rüdiger’s contract, there’s now “growing doubt” about his future at the club — especially as Chelsea’s defensive woes continue.
With the Blues linked to a few defensive reinforcements at center back, it’s increasingly expected that one of Andreas Christensen, Kurt Zouma, Fikayo Tomori, or Rüdiger will make way this summer, either by way of a loan or by way of a transfer. It’s anyone’s guess which of the four would prove that weakest link, just as Lampard has been searching to no avail all season to find the best combination between those four.
Rüdiger began the season injured after summer knee surgery, but he’s not been able to stabilize the back four either. (He’s been far more successful in whispering sweet nothings into the ear of Timo Werner, to convince him to join — and he might repeat that trick for Kai Havertz, too.)
Could this summer be the end of Rüdiger’s three years at the Bridge? Given Chelsea’s Youth Revolution™, losing the oldest center back might not be that surprising.