Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich goes against Thomas Tuchel wish with transfer stance

Thomas Tuchel previews Chelsea v Juventus

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Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich continues to go against Thomas Tuchel’s wishes as pressure mounts over his top centre-backs. Antonio Rudiger, in particular, is currently expected to leave on a free transfer next summer amid hesitance to meet his hefty contract demands.

Club captain Cesar Azpilicueta, Thiago Silva and Andreas Christensen join Rudiger with their contracts expiring in 2022.

Tuchel is confident Azpilicueta and Silva will stay at Stamford Bridge beyond the end of the season.

Talks with Christensen had stalled but are now underway again, with Chelsea confident he will also commit his future to the club.

There is growing uncertainty surrounding Rudiger, though, with Abramovich’s reluctance to hand him a bumper deal undoubtedly a concern for Tuchel.

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GOAL report that Rudiger wants to be among Chelsea’s highest-paid players after becoming one of the Premier League’s top defenders.

However, the Blues aren’t willing to meet those demands, leaving a free transfer next summer likely.

Real Madrid are leading the race to sign the 28-year-old, but Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain are also suitors.

Considering his central role in Chelsea’s early success under Tuchel, Rudiger departing, never mind for free, would come as a major blow.

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And the German boss recently expressed his hope that the Rudiger contract saga will soon have a ‘happy ending’.

He said: “It can happen these days [contract stand-offs], but it does not affect his mentality, it doesn’t affect his quality, it doesn’t affect his behaviour.

“He is fully committed to Chelsea right now, and I am absolutely sure he feels the trust, respect and love from the club and spectators.

“For me, he is a big competitor and he is exactly the right spot. He is in the most competitive league and at a club where winning matters, so let’s be a bit patient and hopefully we have a happy end.”

There are six months of the season left and plenty of time for Chelsea to have a change of heart and offer Rudiger acceptable terms.

But he will be allowed to negotiate a pre-contract agreement with overseas clubs from January.

Tuchel will continue to utilise his fellow German native regardless as Chelsea pursue their first Premier League title since 2017.

And there will be an underlying hope among his coaching staff, the players and fans that Abramovich will eventually agree to meet Rudiger’s demands to persuade him to stay in west London.

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