Chelsea are still hoping to convince Antonio Rudiger to sign a new contract, but they are also struggling to get close to the figure other clubs could offer the defender, according to Matt Law.
Two weeks have passed since Rudiger, whose contract with Chelsea expires at the end of the season, has legally been able to speak to foreign clubs over potential free transfer moves.
So far, the 28-year-old has yet to reach an agreement, neither with Chelsea nor any other club.
This gives Chelsea more time to negotiate a new deal with the player, but according to The Telegraph correspondent Law, they might not be able to compete with other clubs in terms of offers financially.
“While we know that foreign clubs are definitely being in touch with Rudiger’s camp, it doesn’t feel like that there has been a firm, massive offer that blows any chance of him staying at Chelsea out the water,” Law told the London is Blue podcast.
“So I think Chelsea are tentatively encouraged at this stage.
“I don’t think the offers [from other clubs] are quite there yet, and that gives Chelsea a glimmer of hope.
“The problem Chelsea have got, which is just not going to go away unless Rudiger doesn’t get any [other] offer, is that Chelsea offered around £140,000-a-week and Rudiger said no to that.
“He wants a basic salary of around £200,000-a-week — which seems to be fair market value.
“The difficulty [for Chelsea] is that if he moves to another club, he will get a signing-on fee so huge — which will be paid on top of his wage — that his wage will look more like near £400,000-a-week.
“That’s the part where Chelsea have got a problem [with] because it’s highly irregular for a club to pay their own player a signing-on fee anywhere near that level.
“They might give him a loyalty bonus, but it is generally nowhere near the figure we’re talking about.”
Law added that Rudiger might not demand as much from Chelsea compared to other clubs but also highlighted that this could be the defender’s last chance to earn huge paydays.
“To get it over the line, I think Chelsea are going to have to do something creative on that because I don’t see him giving it up completely,” he explained.
Given Rudiger’s performance in the last year, he is rightfully demanding a significant pay rise.
On the other hand, like Law pointed out, Chelsea’s offering their own player, let’s say, £15-20million in a loyalty bonus in order to match other potential offers also does not seem plausible.
However, it is very clear how important the Germany international has been to Tuchel’s plans, and replacing him as a player and a dressing room figure would not be easy and probably costly.