The three players who could leave Chelsea on free transfers this summer

The end of next season looks to be an important one for Chelsea when they have quite a few defenders who will have their contracts expiring at the close of the campaign.

Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen and Cesar Azpilicueta’s deals are all up next June and, you would expect anyway, a decision on each of their futures at the club will have been made well before then.

Head coach Thomas Tuchel was asked about the trio ahead of the Champions League second leg tie with Atletico Madrid as all three have been key to the astonishing success of Tuchel’s 14-game unbeaten run since replacing Frank Lampard.

Chelsea have shipped just two goals in that time in a run that has seen them launch themselves back into the top four with aplomb, as well as securing passages through to the latter rounds in both the FA Cup and Champions League

“Of course we know, everybody knows about the situation of those three players. All three players performed on a super high level, very reliable, this is the most important thing.

“We’ll take the decisions, then communicate them when taken. This is not a secret and it’s obvious that all three have performed outstanding.

“Andreas and Toni have done a fantastic job so far, and we have to keep on going like this and the rest will be resolved.”

But what about the end of this season? Who could Chelsea risk losing on a free when all is said and done for 2020/21?

Olivier Giroud

There is always speculation over Giroud’s future at the club, he has been linked with switches away on numerous occasions yet he is still at Stamford Bridge and is still not letting anyone down.

With the Blues desperate for a striker in the transfer market this summer, could that mean the end of Giroud in west London? Not necessarily but talk would have surely started by now if there was going to be an extension.

Tuchel might not be so keen to let him move on either, saying before the FA Cup quarter final win over Sheffield United: “I think Oli can have a huge impact on our team because he has the experience, the physical presence and the ruthlessness in the box. This is his style of football and he has been very successful for many years.

“It is my job to push him and give him the feeling that he is still important and important for me, which he is.”

Giroud may well be looking for one last swansong back in France perhaps, maybe he still harbours ambitions of playing in the 2022 World Cup in Qatar late next year, who knows. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see him stay in the capital but it also wouldn’t be a surprise if he didn’t.

Thiago Silva

All the while Frank Lampard was in charge at the club, activating the one-year option Chelsea has on Silva’s contract looked a no brainer as he continued to look like the Rolls Royce defender that he is.

Now, though?

Silva has been sidelined for six weeks with a thigh problem and Tuchel has seen Andreas Christensen rise emphatically into the starting team since replacing the Brazilian.

Silva is clearly enjoying his time in west London, just look at his Champions League celebrations with Mason Mount and Jorginho in the east stand at Stamford Bridge and Tuchel has previously spoken on Silva’s deal.

“About his contract it’s too early and not the surrounding now to speak about it.

“It’s between him and the club, and me and the club, we will take this decision together. But if you watch the celebration pictures carefully you will see how young he looks.

“He was running up and down the stairs, he was dressed like a 28-year-old.”

Time will tell what will happen but indications are that Silva would like to remain in west London as he turns 37.

Willy Caballero

The veteran keeper is out of contract at the end of the season and has done very little wrong at the club during his 38 appearances in total since arriving in 2017.

Every club needs a third choice keeper so whether the Blues hang on to the veteran Argentine or promote one of the youngsters up to third choice, perhaps Karlo Ziger if he’s not loaned out, remains to be seen.

Tuchel has more decisions with his goalkeeper department than just with Caballero and that is if Kepa will remain his number two behind Edoaurd Mendy, who has been in superb form for the German.

Kepa, like Caballero, has done little wrong since the German came in but won’t be wanting to be a backup for too long and the Chelsea up aboves won’t want the world’s most expensive goalkeeper warming the bench for another season.

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