Antonio Rudiger is looking increasingly likely to leave Chelsea next year unless the club make him one of their highest paid players, 90min understands.
Following Thomas Tuchel’s arrived as head coach in January, Rudiger has been in outstanding form for the Blues and played a major part in their Champions League success last season.
But he has less than 12 months remaining on his current Chelsea contract, meaning he is free to talk to other clubs in January.
90min has been told that Tuchel is desperate for Rudiger to stay and has made it clear to club director Marina Granovskaia that re-signing the German defender must be Chelsea’s priority. However, a deal is not close at this stage, despite reports to the contrary, and talks are currently at a standstill.
Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner are Chelsea’s highest paid players, earning in excess of £300,000-per-week, and Rudiger believes he is worth a similar amount given his recent performances.
However, in the past year, Chelsea have only offered Rudiger a small pay rise and that is some way short of the expectations of the German star – who many believe is one of Europe’s finest defenders. Earlier this week former England star Rio Ferdinand described him as the best in the Premier League alongside Manchester City’s Ruben Dias.
28-year-old Rudiger is open about his future options, but such is his form it is no surprise that he has a host of clubs looking to sign him.
90min understands that Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich are currently the leading contenders to claim his signature, but Tottenham Hotspur supremo Daniel Levy remains a huge fan and would love to take him across London if at all possible.
It is understood that Chelsea are looking at a number of options should they lose Rudiger, but Tuchel is adamant that the club need to tie him down.
A new deal for Rudiger’s defensive partner Andreas Christensen is progressing, meanwhile, and Chelsea are confident that the Dane – who is also out of contract at the end of the season – will commit to the club and finalise an agreement soon.