As the January transfer window draws ever closer, Antonio Rudiger is still making headlines for what his next move is. He’s playing under the final year of his contract at Chelsea and a wage dispute has drawn out the negotiations over a renewal.
But, now it’s looking likely that Spain and Real Madrid beckons as the German internationals next move
Carefree Chelsea’s writer and presenter, Anita Abayomi spoke to Football.London’s Chelsea correspondent, Sam Inkersole (SI) and Scott Trotter (ST) on Friday afternoon’s Back Page show.
ST: “I’m disappointed definitely. Tuchel hasn’t been shy about showing that he is the most important member of that back three. He’s kind of been the one that is irreplaceable.
“Obviously we’ve seen Malang Sarr a couple of times but that’s been few and far between. I think the talk has always been about a Bayern Munich or Real Madrid coming in.
“We even saw Jerome Boateng come out and give Rudiger his seal of approval for people to come and get him. So, it is full-on with who can impress Rudiger with the bid at the moment.
“I think it’s a real shame and a tricky situation. Rudiger’s form has been so good despite all of this so far. We’ve known about the uncertainties there.
“He’s been a professional. Me, personally I would have loved to see him stay. Obviously, he has some risk with his age and the time he’s played under Tuchel. I think if he had another three or four-year contract, Chelsea would still make money for him in the future.
“The longer it goes on the more you think he will probably leave and to a good team as well. It’s not like he’s going to be short of options.”
SI: “There’s Matthijs de Ligt, Wesley Fofana. There have been reports coming out of goal today that they could be in for Fofana, which would be a great move I think. If he proves his fitness.
“He was very highly rated centre-back in Europe for his age group. Even before he signed for Leicester. I know West Ham are really interested in him but the price tag when he did eventually go to Leicester.
“Obviously he broke his leg, which he suffered in pre-season so he’s recovering from that. He’s a potential option. We know the name of Jules Kounde will come back up again.
“There’s no doubt because he wanted to join Chelsea in the summer. But, Sevilla moved the goalpost on the price they wanted. I would be staggered if his name isn’t thrown out there again.
“You’ve got Levi Cole performing well out on loan at Huddersfield. You’ve got Trevoh Chalobah whose emerged into this season. Andreas Christensen – I’m still expecting him to sign. I think that will get done.
“Thiago Silva, maybe you could get another year out of him. But, that will be it. I don’t think it’s all doom and gloom, or crisis in terms of Chelsea centre backs at the moment. But, I am expecting Rudiger to go.
“Real Madrid can offer wages that nobody else can and I don’t think Chelsea will even consider matching that. That will completely smash the wage structure. But, Real Madrid can offer those wages.
“They’ve done it with David Alaba. They can do it with Antonio Rudiger, that’s no problem for them. Thankfully for Chelsea, Chalobah’s emergence has been massive. If he hadn’t had broken through and showed how he adjusted, good he is.
“How he’s performed in the Premier League. Then Chelsea could have been in a real spot of bother. But, they do have a centre-back for the future now, tied him down long-term too. They know he can cut it in Champions and Premier League.
“So, perhaps not as bad as it could have been. Losing Rudiger is a big blow. But then again he’s had one world-class year in four. So, you have to take it with a pinch of salt.”