Frank Leboeuf has called on Chelsea to tie Antonio Rudiger down to a new contract extension amid consistent transfer rumours linking him with a move away from Stamford Bridge.
The 28-year-old defender has less than 12 months remaining on his contract at the Blues and has been strongly linked with a move to Bayern Munich and Real Madrid in recent weeks.
Rudiger, when asked about contact with other clubs, as was reported, denied that he had spoken to anyone else other than Chelsea about his future.
The Germany international said to SID, via Sky Sports Germany : “For me, this will now be the most important decision of my professional career. I have never spoken to any other club than Chelsea.”
Rudiger is in talks with Chelsea over a new contract, but some reports have claimed that he wants to be among the highest earners at the club, which is seemingly causing an issue over an agreement.
Leboeuf, when speaking about the German defender, compared him to former Chelsea striker Diego Costa, in the way that “everyone hates him” apart from his adoring supporters and team-mates.
“I’m very fond of Rudiger; that guy amazed me because he wasn’t playing anymore and Tuchel believed in him and put him back where Zouma was when everything was good about him and the defence was working well and Tuchel put him in and Rudiger became another player,” Leboeuf said, when speaking to Ladbrokes for its 5-A-Side bet on Brentford vs Chelsea.
“Two years ago when I saw him playing I said: ‘He cannot play for Chelsea’, and now look, he’s the main man, everyone hates him.
“He is a bit like Diego Costa when he was playing for Chelsea, he was hated by the rest of the world and that’s the same now for Rudiger because the guy is amazing in defence, he’s a nasty player but when he plays for your club you love it.
“He does well for Chelsea and he does well for Chelsea so I don’t want to see him leave when his contract expires this season.”
Thomas Tuchel addressed rumours over Rudiger’s future earlier in the year and insisted that his German countryman could not be doing anything more to earn himself a new and improved contract in west London.
Tuchel said this in May: “Nothing is better than what he is doing for a new contract. If he wants to have a new contract, he has our full support to stay at the club.
“He is speaking with his performances; he has been amazing since day one. We chose him in the first match after just one day of training.
“It was an unfair decision against Kurt [Zouma] but he’s German and I had a clearer picture of what he can do, of course, because I have followed him more than Kurt Zouma.
“I had a clear picture of what he can deliver to a team and he took the chance. Since then it’s well deserved he is in the team. He is an aggressive leader, has this natural aggressivity in him. He hates to lose, is hard to beat in duels, is very brave, and full of energy in his defending.
“He is leading by example and has a very positive aggressivity in him. This is what we like. When he can channel all this into top performances, as he does now, we are all very happy to have him.”
Source by Football London