Antonio Rudiger provides update on Chelsea contract talks amid Manchester United links


Antonio Rudiger says his ‘family feels great’ in London but ‘the rest is up to other people’ when it comes to deciding his future, with the defender out of contract at Chelsea in the summer. Rudiger played an integral role in Chelsea’s Champions League success last term and has established himself as one of the finest centre- backs in the Premier League under Thomas Tuchel, starting all but one of the club’s top-flight games this season.

However, there remains uncertainty over Rudiger’s future, with the 28-year-old free to sign pre-contract agreements with foreign teams as of January 1 amid strong interest from Real Madrid, Paris Saint- Germain and Juventus. Chelsea’s direct rivals, Manchester United, are also said to be plotting a sensational move. Ralf Rangnick’s good relationship with Rudiger’s half- brother and agent, Sahr Senesie, could give the Red Devils the upper hand in the race for the Germany international.

Tuchel has been calm about the situation and remains hopeful it will be resolved in due course. But the major sticking point in Chelsea’s talks with Rudiger have been wage demands, with the centre- half currently earning around £100,000-a-week at Stamford Bridge. Rudiger reportedly wants in excess of £200,000-a- week to stay on in west London, but the Blues are yet to come close to that figure and discussions are ongoing.

Asked for an update on the situation, Rudiger told Sky Sports: ‘I’m fully committed like always, down for the cause. ‘At the end of the day, talks are between my side and the club.’

Asked whether it’s easy to shut out the noise surrounding his future, Rudiger replied: ‘Yes, I find it easy to do because these are not only words that I’m saying, that I’m fully committed here to the cause. I think I’ve always shown it. ‘There was also bad times, much worse times than this, so that’s why I find it easy to deal with that because I’m focussed on what is happening here, what is happening on the pitch and I owe it to everyone here around the club.

‘I owe to to the coach, my team-mates and my family so that’s why I’m only focussed about the important things.’ Rudiger’s next deal could be the last long-term contract of his career and his family will likely be a key factor in his decision. ‘You need to listen to the missus. You have to think about your family, obviously,’
the ex-Roma and Stuttgart man added.

‘But I’ve always said that my kids were born here in London so that tells you that my family feels great here, but the rest is up to other people. ‘They have to make decisions and we will see.’

Speaking on JOE’s YouTube channel earlier this week, Joe Cole criticised Chelsea for allowing the contracts on integral players like Rudiger to run down and ‘unease’ the squad. Asked whether he had been surprised by Chelsea’s decline in form this season, Cole responded: Asked whether he had been surprised by Chelsea’s dip in form this season, Cole told JOE:

‘I was surprised, but only because there was no signs of it. Six weeks ago it looks like a well-oiled machine. ‘This is critical of the club and this is more for the people upstairs. They’ve allowed the contracts of people like [Andreas] Christensen, Thiago Silva, Cesar [Azpilicueta] and Rudiger all to run down to where they’ve run down to which causes a little bit of unease and unnerves people and then that can filter out.

‘They are all negotiating at the same time so, coming into a crucial part of the season, their minds are, “What am I doing in six months time with my family? Am I staying here? Am I going there?”, and that unsettles the ground.’

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