According to reports, Thomas Tuchel has reminded Antonio Rudiger of his desire to keep him at Chelsea for at least another season.
Tuchel, according to The Athletic, might be the deciding factor in whether or not his countryman stays at Stamford Bridge this summer.
Is this Antonio’s last dance?
Rudiger’s deal with the European champions is nearing conclusion after what seems like an eternity of negotiations. Unless he can reach an arrangement with the club’s board of directors before June, the centre-back will be free to leave.
Several teams have already formed a line on Fulham Road, waiting to see which direction the German international will go. Chelsea’s search for a replacement for Roman Abramovich hasn’t helped matters one bit.
They cannot offer players fresh contracts until Abramovich’s successor steps into the hot seat and the team’s finances are sorted out. This leaves Rudiger and those in the squad also nearing the end of their tenure in a very perilous position.
Especially as the defender wants a deserved pay rise, a request that was proving difficult to deliver even before the UK government sanctioned the departing owner.
Could Tuchel persuade Rudiger to stay?
At the moment, all the signs are pointing towards the 29-year-old leaving Chelsea after half a decade of admirable service.
But one ball that the Blues do have in their court is Tuchel’s relationship with the former Roma centurion. The Athletic claim the pair’s connection is ‘extremely strong’, a rapport Rudiger hasn’t had with any of the managers he’s worked within South West London.
It’s probably pretty accurate to say the defender has played the best football of his career under the man who took over from Frank Lampard last January. On the flip side, Tuchel might not have achieved the same success as the Chelsea boss without Rudiger leading his backline.
Hence why he has apparently ‘made it clear’ to the chain of command and to the player himself how much he wants Rudiger to stay for another season. Hopefully, TT can influence Antonio’s decision to remain blue for the foreseeable future.