'Gone anyway': Merson convinced £29m Chelsea player is about to leave Stamford Bridge

Paul Merson is convinced that Antonio Rudiger will leave Chelsea this summer.

Rudiger, 29, is an absolutely vital part of the Blues defence that’s seen his reputation soar in the past 18 months.

He’s an aggressive, no-nonsense centre-back that perfectly suits Thomas Tuchel’s XI.

As it stands, he’ll have to leave at the end of the season when his contract expires. Chelsea are in a difficult position where they can’t negotiate contracts with their players due to government regulations, so it means they’re in a really tough spot.

However, perhaps there is a glimmer of hope regarding one last attempt to keep £29million ace Rudiger because the club may reportedly be under new ownership within four to six weeks.

Rudiger has reportedly rejected a new £140,000-a-week Chelsea deal in the past, as well as overlook a staggering £200,000-a-week package to stay at Stamford Bridge. Manchester United and Newcastle United are now linked with a swoop to try sign him.

Merson is certain that the Germany international will be leaving regardless of the takeover saga.

“Rudiger’s gone anyway – you don’t refuse to sign a contract and lose eighty grand a week for nothing. When players don’t sign contracts, you can take it for granted that they’ll leave more often than not,” Merson said.

Photo by Pat Scaasi/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Good luck finding a replacement

It seems an impossible task to find an available defender this summer with the amount of passion, aggression and quality as in-form centre-half Rudiger.

Of course, the focus is on the club finding new ownership and being stable.

However, the long-term vision is how the Blues cope with the potential loss of some key individuals.

Rudiger absolutely dominates when he plays on the left of a back three and is a major fan favourite.

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A sports journalist who graduated from Staffordshire University in 2016 and is a Chelsea supporter. Loves anything football or cricket related when it comes to England.