KEY POINTS

  • Antonio Rudiger joined Chelsea in 2017
  • Chelsea bought Rudiger from Roma at $40 million
  • Tuchel is a huge admirer of Rudiger

Thomas Tuchel could reportedly suffer a setback as defender Antonio Rudiger is expected to leave the club amid interest from Paris Saint-Germain (PSG).

If Rudiger, who has just one year left on his current deal with Chelsea, fails to sign an extension, he’ll be allowed to begin negotiations with clubs abroad from Jan. 1, 2022, and PSG are looking to take advantage of the contract situation, reported French publication Le10 Sport

Tuchel, who took over Chelsea’s charge in the middle of last season, led the Stamford Bridge side to Champions League success in 2020-21 and the backbone of his triumph has been the defense. 

While Spain’s Cesar Azpilicueta, who is primarily a right-back, continues to deliver for The Blues anywhere back in the line, Rudiger along with Thiago Silva and Andreas Christensen complete the solid defense for Chelsea. 

Under Frank Lampard’s management, Rudiger played just one of Chelsea's first 15 Premier League matches last term. However, the arrival of Tuchel completely turned the tables around for his countryman Rudiger. The 28-year-old center-back ended the 2020-21 campaign as Tuchel’s second-most used player after club captain Azpi.

Rudiger also played the whole 90 minutes in the Champions League final, where Kai Havertz netted the winner to make Chelsea the European champions for the second time in history. Despite being the best attacking team in England, Manchester City failed to threaten their Premier League rivals in the final in Portugal. Tuchel’s Chelsea produced a near-perfect defense show and Rudiger was an integral part of it.

It is understood that while all of Tuchel’s key defenders are in the final years of their contracts, 28-year-old Rudiger is receiving the maximum attention from various other European clubs. 

Three big clubs -- Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Juventus are monitoring Rudiger’s contract situation at Chelsea, according to Spanish media outlet Fichajes. The report also stated that Tuchel has personally requested Chelsea’s management to quickly work towards a contract extension for Rudiger, who has been with the club since 2017. Along with him, Tuchel also wants the Blues to retain Azpi and Christensen. 

Antonio Rudiger scored twice to secure Chelsea a 2-2 draw at Leicester Antonio Rudiger has been at Chelsea since 2017 Photo: AFP / Adrian DENNIS

In the summer of 2017, Chelsea signed Rudiger from Roma at a fee of around $40 million. Over the years, the German center-back has helped the side win as many as four trophies – Champions League, Super Cup, FA Cup and Europa League, while overall, he has played four finals with Chelsea.