Chelsea are not currently in talks with Antonio Rudiger’s representatives over a new contract with up to six European clubs keen to snatch the defender on a free transfer, according to Sky Sports.

Last month, the 28-year-old revealed that Chelsea opened the discussion over a potential extension with him and his representatives right after he returned from the Euro 2020.

Based on his admission, however, it was clear that Rudiger had yet to give an answer, saying he would not “rush” what he described as “the most important” decision in his career.

Now, a couple of weeks after the interview, Sky Sports claims that the negotiations between Chelsea and the centre-back’s representatives have come to a halt.

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The report does not rule out Rudiger’s signing a new Chelsea deal but also claims that he is keeping his options open.

The Germany international will be able to talk to foreign clubs from January onwards over a potential free-transfer move, with six top European clubs reportedly interested.

Sky Sports mentioned Bayern Munich as one of the six clubs despite the club’s sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic has previously denied their being on the market for a new centre-back.

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Chronicle view

From Rudiger’s point of view, waiting for a few months for a potentially more lucrative deal from other clubs certainly makes sense financially.

Football-wise, he is in a very comfortable position at Chelsea, being one of the first names on Thomas Tuchel’s team sheets.

As it stands, Chelsea might be forced to search for a new left centre-back in the transfer market, since Tuchel is not exactly spoilt for choice in this particular position.

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Malang Sarr has been the only player who has played on the left of the back three aside from Rudiger this season, and he does not seem to be ready yet.

The simplest solution would be to convince Rudiger to sign the new contract, perhaps by offering a bigger deal, but at least several clubs are likely thinking of doing the same.

Real Madrid, for example, are ready to offer the Germany international a big signing-on fee if he agrees a pre-contract deal in January, according to Spanish publication ABC.

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