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Chelsea were close to Antonio Rüdiger contract agreement before sanctions — report

Race against time

Chelsea v Newcastle United - Premier League Photo by Craig Mercer/MB Media/Getty Images

One of the current restrictions placed on Chelsea Football Club by the ever-wise UK government is an inability to SPEND money on things like travel, matchday expenses, contingent workers, or new contracts and transfers (some restricted, some completely cut off). Sanctions that are supposedly designed to ensure that no more money flows into the pockets of Roman Abramovich have not only put a money-losing operation like Chelsea into a semi-frozen state, but have also prevented said money-losing operation from spending MORE money! The logic is absolutely baffling, not that we should expect much logical thinking in politics.

Some have equated (the relevant parts of) this to a transfer ban, but that’s underselling the situation. Not only can we not register new players (which is what a transfer ban ultimately is), we cannot sign new players, we cannot sell current players, and we also cannot offer new contracts. Some of this seems borderline illegal as per worker laws (EU or not) — i.e. players under contract literally have no way of leaving — but the more immediate impact is the part about new contracts, especially as it pertains to the likes of Antonio Rüdiger, César Azpilicueta, and to a lesser extent, Andreas Christensen.

While Christensen is pretty much set for Barcelona and Azpilicueta seems happy enough to make his decision only at the end of the season, we’ve been working for much of the season to get an agreement in place with Rüdiger. And it sounds like we were close, before said sanctions were put into place.

According to Christian Falk’s truthiness meter, Chelsea had agreed personal terms with the 29-year-old over a new contract, and were apart just on the signing bonus. While that doesn’t necessarily mean that he was ready to sign on the dotted line, the agreement on the personal terms is an important development, since wages were the biggest issue in these negotiations all year.

Hopefully the ownership situation resolves itself (and/or the Licence gets amended by the government) in time to still get this contract in place before the current one expires...

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