Chelsea supporters on social media had a bad feeling about Antonio Rudiger’s contract situation following a recent transfer report.
According to CNN Turk, the Blues have come to an agreement with Fenerbahce to sign their Hungarian defender, Attila Szalai.
Szalai will reportedly join the Champions League holders on a six-year deal, with the initial fee standing at €23.4m.
The 23-year-old often plays on the left side of a back three for both his club and country.
This is an area Chelsea will need to strengthen if Rudiger runs out his Stamford Bridge contract.
To the despair of many Blues fans, they believed Szalai’s potential arrival into South West London would signal the end of the German international’s tenure.
Here’s how they reacted on Twitter:
Looks like rudiger is leaving in January— Skarra24 (@Skarra24o) November 11, 2021
He’s gonna replace Rudiger isn’t he pic.twitter.com/WgIkkpT5on— Muk (@CFC_Muk) November 11, 2021
Rudiger replacement— Anthony🗣 (@CFCAnthonyy) November 11, 2021
Well that pretty much confirms rudiger and/or Christensen are leaving.— Archie Wallace (@CFC__Archie) November 11, 2021
Rüdiger is gone then? 🙁— Corñ (@Corn_CFC) November 11, 2021
Wait, what? So, Rudi is going?— Ludwig Deiter ⭐⭐ (@__TheDaniel) November 11, 2021
This means Rudi is gone in January 😔😭— Mexicavince (@Mexicavince1) November 11, 2021
Rudiger on the ropes
At the moment, there has been no official confirmation of the Szalai deal or Rudiger’s exit.
But the longer the latter’s situation is not resolved, the more likely the former is to become the solution.
It would certainly be difficult for any new player to fill Rudiger’s rather sizeable shoes.
He has become one of Chelsea’s most treasured possessions, owed largely to the implementation of Thomas Tuchel last season.
A hugely popular figure in the dressing room and amongst the home crowd, his presence would be sorely missed.
But there will come a time where the Blues must learn to live without Rudiger, whether that be next year or the ones to follow.
Szalai in the spotlight
Could Szalai stet up and show the way for Rudiger-less future?
His CV might not be as illustrious, yet sometimes the surprise packages are the most entertaining.
Take Edouard Mendy for example; a generally unknown quantity who has since taken Europe by storm.
If Szalai can emulate anything close to the Senegalese’s success, he will be an instant hit.