Chelsea sent firm instructions by Antonio Rudiger over contract talks after Atletico win | Football | Sport


Antonio Rudiger has reportedly told Chelsea to shelve plans to discuss a contract extension until after the European Championships. The centre-back, who has turned his fortunes around under Thomas Tuchel, does not want any distractions between now and the end of the season as he targets silverware for both club and country.

The former Roma man came close to leaving the club last summer after being cast aside by former boss Frank Lampard.

At the beginning of the season, Rudiger found himself left out of Chelsea’s matchday squads and at the bottom of the defensive pecking order.

He was not short of potential suitors though in the transfer market and both Paris Saint-Germain and Tottenham were interested in his services.

Chelsea were reluctant to let him leave though and that decision has now paid dividends for new manager Tuchel.

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Rudiger wants to remain focused on helping his side achieve something special, while cementing his place in Germany’s squad in June.

Before the second leg against Atletico, Rudiger admitted that he was close to departing Stamford Bridge last October.

“I was close (to leaving),” Rudiger said. “There were really like two teams, maybe one team I was considering, that was PSG to be honest.

“There was (a) call also with [Jose] Mourinho, but this is something at the end of the day that didn’t happen, and with Tuchel also, (but it) didn’t happen.

“I was upset of course because I knew my situation and wouldn’t play that often.”

Rudiger’s determination and resilience has been imperative in helping him turn things around.

The centre-back has already offered supporters reassurance that his preference is to stay in west London.

“Even at the beginning of the season when things didn’t go my way, I was always calm, like I am now,” Rudiger added.

“At the end of the day, I cannot give myself a contract. So that’s why I have to wait to see what happens.

“Whatever happens I love being at Chelsea, so Chelsea will always be my priority number one.

“Everyone, me and the club know how much I like this club, so it’s down to the people who make these types of decisions.

“At the moment for me, it’s to concentrate on important matches and targets. The rest, I think I’m sure we will resolve it.”

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