Antonio Rudiger is walking on thin ice in terms of reassuring Chelsea fans he will be at the club next season.
It has been widely reported in the last week or so that Rudiger is no closer to signing a new contract with the Champions League holders.
His current deal expires next summer, but rivals can strike up an agreement to sign the German in January.
Paris-Saint Germain and Real Madrid are said to be most intrigued, although others will undoubtedly join the queue before too long.
If Rudiger and Chelsea’s chain of command cannot come to an understanding, the defender can walk away for free after the campaign’s conclusion.
In order to tie down the 28-year-old, the Blues must increase his wages to reflect the player’s performances under Thomas Tuchel.
There is no questioning Rudiger’s pivotal role in the new manager’s overhaul in light of Frank Lampard’s departure.
He is a rock at the back, who likes to attack, as demonstrated during Tuesday night’s win over Zenit St Petersburg.
Losing him for nothing would be a terrible piece of business; something Marina Granovskaia will not want on her record.
But Rudiger must be wary about the pitfalls of leaving Chelsea, after failing to see eye-to-eye with his employers.
Former teammate Willian’s fall from grace is a prime example.
The Brazilian left the Blues last year to join Arsenal after his contract had expired.
That concluded seven seasons of fine service at Stamford Bridge, following the attacker’s £32m (Guardian) move from Anzhi Makhachkala.
Chelsea offered the frizzy-haired forward a fresh deal, yet opted against matching what the Gunners had presented.
Those aware of what proceeded after Willian put pen to paper will know this is a tragedy, not a love story.
37 appearances, just 16 Premier League starts and one goal later, the 33-year-old left Arsenal in a cloud of regrettable smoke.
Sound like something you want to replicate, Rudi?
Although earning more money at the likes of PSG and Real Madrid sounds enticing, is it worth the risk of career suicide? We think not.