Chelsea scout Antonio Rudiger replacement as Todd Boehly faces instant contract decision

Chelsea scout Antonio Rudiger replacement as Todd Boehly faces instant contract decision

“We would have some targets, and we would have for sure contacted some players and found out about their situations,” Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel said last week when asked how the sale of the club was impacting the Blues’ ability to plan for the summer transfer window.

“Of course, now our hands are tied. We can still have talks inside the building, but we cannot act. The situation is not ideal. It would be challenging enough with a stable situation. We don’t have that, and we try to show our commitment, our passion.

“It’s maybe very important for me to give this message: I’m committed, I’m looking forward to it, and I’m passionate about it. And as soon as we can act, we will try to act and turn things around and make it from a disadvantage to maybe an advantage. I don’t have the solution right now, but we will try to stay positive about it.

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“I also don’t think it’s possible a new owner comes in and says, ‘here go wild, here is £250million, go spend it.” There is still faith in the people who take care of it from our side, and we try to be prepared behind the scenes so that if we get a green light to act, we are ready and share our views on the team.”

Once the sale of Chelsea is complete – and there is confidence the consortium led by Todd Boehly will get their takeover wrapped up by the end of this month – then the Blues are going to have to work fast to ensure they are not left behind in the transfer market, especially as there are several big decisions to be made across Tuchel’s squad.

We have previously discussed the goalkeeping situation at Stamford Bridge. This time around, our focus is on the defence and wing-back spots where urgent attention is required.

Antonio Rudiger will leave Chelsea when his contract expires in the summer. Prior to Abramovich being placed under sanctions, the Blues offered the German international a deal in excess of £200,000 a week to stay. It would have made the 29-year-old the best-paid defender in the club’s history.

Yet no agreement was reached, and the moment Abramovich was sanctioned, Chelsea could not negotiate with Rudiger’s representatives. “We gave everything – the club and me – but we could not fight anymore because of the situation,” Tuchel stated last month. Without the sanctions, we would at least be able to carry on fighting, but our hands are tied. We don’t take it personally. It is his decision.

“He is a key figure and will stay that way until the end of the season. But it is disappointing. We will miss him a lot. He gives courage in the dressing room. The kind everyone is afraid of, but the kind to play 50-55 games at an outstanding level. He is a top defender in the last one and a half years for me. We then need to find another solution.”

Rudiger’s destination will be Real Madrid. And he is expected to be joined in La Liga next season by another Chelsea defender: Andreas Christensen. Much like Rudiger, the Dane is out of contract in the summer. And despite the best efforts of the Blues across the season – twice the club believed a new contract had been agreed – he is set to walk away and sign for Barcelona.

The duo’s departure would leave Chelsea with Cesar Azpilicueta, Thiago Silva, Trevoh Chalobah and Malang Sarr as Chelsea’s centre-back options. Yet there remains hope in Barcelona that a deal with the Blues can be agreed for club captain Azpilicueta, who is coming to the end of his tenth season at Stamford Bridge.

Were it not for a one-year extension in Azpilicueta’s contract triggered at the end of March, he would also have been free to walk away at the end of the campaign. That could still occur, but only with the blessing of Chelsea’s next owners and Tuchel as a gesture of goodwill for his service.

It will not be simple for Chelsea to revamp their defence, especially given that other areas of the pitch need attention. Yet it is a case of needs must. Money will have to be spent – and that is despite Levi Colwill’s return from Huddersfield Town after an impressive loan spell.

It’s understood the 19-year-old will be given an opportunity to impress Tuchel in pre-season. And given the academy graduate’s talent and vast potential, it is certainly possible he takes up a spot in the Chelsea squad for the 2022/23 campaign. However, it would be unfair to expect Colwill to be an instant Rudiger replacement.

The Blues will need to sign – at least – one centre-back, and Jules Kounde remains a target. Chelsea attempted to conclude a deal for the French international last summer but were caught out when Sevilla stood firm on their asking price. Kounde has a release clause of around £68million in his contract and that may have to be met this time around to prise him away from the La Liga side.

Sources have told that Tuchel would love to bring Marquinhos, who he worked with at Paris Saint-Germain, to Stamford Bridge. However, the Chelsea head coach appreciates such a transfer would be near impossible. Presnel Kimpembe is viewed as a more attainable target should PSG decide to refresh their backline this summer. understands Torino’s Gleison Bremer has been watched by Chelsea this season – and as an aggressive centre-back who has played on the left of a back three this term, the 25-year-old would likely be a replacement for Rudiger should an approach come to fruition.

It’s been reported by Goal that Josko Gvardiol is another name under consideration and Chelsea had a scout in attendance at Leipzig’s game against Union Berlin at the end of last month.

Meanwhile, Niklas Sule and Ronald Araujo were both under consideration earlier in the campaign, but the former has agreed to a pre-contract with Borussia Dortmund while the latter has signed a new contract with Barcelona in the past fortnight.

That’s the centre-backs. As for the wing-backs, one of the priorities for Chelsea’s new owners will be to tie Reece James down to a long-term contract. The academy graduate has three years as things stand but has proved himself one of the Premier League’s standout players this term.

A capable deputy for James is required – even if Azpilicueta stays – and Dujon Sterling, who caught the eye of Tuchel last summer prior to heading out on loan for Blackpool – is expected to rejoin the Chelsea squad for pre-season and will be given an opportunity to stake his claim.

On the opposite flank, it’s hoped Ben Chilwell will return from his ACL injury at the start of pre-season. As was the case last summer, Marcos Alonso will be free to depart Chelsea if an acceptable bid is received. Barcelona are reportedly interested in the 31-year-old.

Source by Football London

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