Real Madrid are apparently keen to land Antonio Rudiger when his Chelsea contract expires next summer – developments which could drive a wedge between Thomas Tuchel and the Blues board. Tuchel is desperate to keep the Germany centre-back in west London but no new contract has yet materialised.
Rudiger appeared to be on his way out of Stamford Bridge last year after falling out of favour under previous boss Frank Lampard.
But the 28-year-old has seen his Chelsea career resurrected under Tuchel and he is now one of the most important players in the team.
Rudiger didn’t miss a minute of Champions League action in the second half of last season after his compatriot arrived at the club as Chelsea went on to lift the trophy by defeating Manchester City in the final.
And he has continued his fine form this term, starting every Premier League and Champions League game to date.
Rudiger’s stock has risen and Tuchel wants to tie him down to a new long-term deal.
Man Utd’s bold Harry Kane transfer decision after England star struggles in Hungary draw
If Real are to land the former Stuttgart defender, they will have to compete against Bayern Munich and Juventus.
Both teams have been linked with the centre-back in recent months, with reports even suggesting he could triple his wages by leaving Chelsea.
Tuchel has been quick to praise Rudiger and will be doing all he can to persuade him to stay in the capital.
“I hope that they find a solution but it’s not only between coaches and players.
“He plays excellent for a long time – very consistent [and] at a very high level. I feel him very calm, very focused and it’s obviously not a distraction for him.
“It’s between the club and the player’s agent.
“He feels the love from the supporters. He plays in the strongest league in Europe and in a big club, so not many reasons to change.
“But it’s in good hands. I’m calm and relaxed – whatever has to happen will happen.”
Life at Chelsea has been good since Tuchel arrived. But if the board can’t get a deal for Rudiger over the line, they should be prepared for the manager to unleash his fury.