Thomas Tuchel confirms Antonio Rudiger's Chelsea decision

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel admitted that Antonio Rudiger has already informed him of his decision in a “private talk”.

Several sources recently claimed that Rudiger had already made a decision to leave Chelsea on a free transfer at the end of the season.

Some Chelsea fans might have been sceptical about these claims as the defender previously spoke about his desire to stay at Stamford Bridge.

However, the sanctioning of Roman Abramovich, which consequently stops Chelsea from offering new contracts to players, played a big part in Rudiger’s decision, Tuchel confirmed.

Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images

“The situation is that he wants to leave the club,” the manager told Sky Sports about Rudiger’s decision.

“He informed me of this is in a private talk.

“We gave everything – me and the club – but we could not fight anymore because of the sanctions.

“Without the sanctions we would at least be able to carry on fighting, but our hands are tied.

“We don’t take it personally. It is his decision.

“He is a key figure and will stay that way until the end of the season. But it is disappointing.

“We will miss him a lot. He gives courage in the dressing room.

“The kind everyone is afraid of, but the kind to play 50-55 games at an outstanding level.

“He is a top defender for the last one and a half years for me. We then need to find another solution.”

Photo by Catherine Steenkeste/Getty Images

The Germany international has been linked with a number of top clubs, but Real Madrid are reportedly leading the race to sign the defender on a free transfer.

Chelsea, on the other hand, will likely have to bring in a couple of centre-backs in the summer as Andreas Christensen is also in the final months of his contract at the club.

On a more positive note, Jules Kounde, who was close to joining Chelsea last summer, has reportedly decided to leave Sevilla at the end of the season.

Keep up to date with all the latest Chelsea news and opinion by following The Chelsea Chronicle’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.

A Chelsea fan who loves football statistics. Studied sports journalism at the University of Sunderland.