Chelsea are currently unable to offer any new contracts even to our own players thanks to government sanctions that are clearly ending the war in Ukraine any day now, which means that both Antonio Rüdiger and Andreas Christensen are set to leave the club at the end of the season (and perhaps go to Barcelona together).
But while it looks like Christensen would be leaving even if these sanctions weren’t in place, Thomas Tuchel remains confident that we will have a chance to keep Rüdiger. That would require a quick agreement as soon as the sanctions are lifted (presumably once the new ownership group is in place), and also would require him to not agree with anybody else in the meantime, but if there is a will, hopefully there will indeed be a way to get this done.
“I have no confirmation for you as I did not speak to Andreas about it at the moment but we heard the same [Barcelona] rumours, so. It’s like this.”
“[Rüdiger] is still our player and we still think there’s a good chance he stays our player once things are solved. This situation is the situation at the moment, our hands are tied. We cannot speak or negotiate with him and his agent. Fair enough if it’s true that he listens to other offers. That’s the way things go but I am still confident.”
César Azpilicueta has also been quite heavily linked with Barcelona, but Tuchel remains even more confident that we can keep him as well. Azpi’s contract has automatically extended through next season thanks to a clause, though Tuchel doesn’t agree with media reports that it’s just an administrative hurdle like it was in the case of Olivier Giroud last year.
“I knew [the extension] was going to happen because I knew the amount of games before it was going to happen. It was so close. It’s a good thing, we were aware of it. It’s good news for us. We have a contract, he’s our captain, it’s a very high possibility he will stay. [...] I am very happy. You know how much I rely on him and how much impact he has in this group and this club. It’s very good news for us.”
In the meantime of course the focus is on the football itself. The sanctions currently would prevent any new transfers as well (incoming or outgoing), but there’s no point in worrying about that at the moment — not for the coaches anyway.
“We focus on what we have right now and our next matches. So maybe it’s an advantage because we cannot get distracted [by transfer rumors] and we deal with the disadvantage later when hopefully things are clear.”
-Thomas Tuchel; source: Football.London
Let’s hope so!