October 2, 2023

Thomas Tuchel has reportedly reminded Antonio Rudiger how desperate he is to keep him at Chelsea for at least another season.

According to The Athletic, Tuchel could be the decisive factor between his fellow countryman remaining at Stamford Bridge over the summer or not.

Is this Antonio’s last dance?

Rudiger’s contract with the European champions is nearing its completion, having been in talks for what feels like an eternity.

Unless the centre-back can come to an agreement with the club’s board before June, he will be allowed to walk away as a free agent.

Numerous sides are already lining up on the Fulham Road, waiting to see which way the German international will decide to turn. Chelsea’s search for Roman Abramovich’s replacement hasn’t helped matters in the slightest.

They cannot offer players fresh contracts until Abramovich’s successor steps into the hot seat and the team’s finances are sorted out.

This leaves Rudiger and those in the squad also nearing the end of their tenure in a very perilous position.

Especially as the defender wants a deserved pay rise, a request that was proving difficult to deliver even before the UK government sanctioned the departing owner.

Could Tuchel’s talks persuade Rudiger to stay?

At the moment, all the signs are pointing towards the 29-year-old leaving Chelsea after half a decade of admirable service.

But one ball that the Blues do have in their court is Tuchel’s relationship with the former Roma centurion.

The Athletic claim the pair’s connection is ‘extremely strong’, a rapport Rudiger hasn’t had with any of the managers he’s worked with in South West London.

It’s probably pretty accurate to say the defender has played the best football of his career under the man who took over from Frank Lampard last January.

On the flip side, Tuchel might not have achieved the same success as Chelsea boss without Rudiger leading his backline.

Hence why he has apparently ‘made it clear’ to the chain of command and to the player himself how much he wants Rudiger to stay for another season.

Hopefully TT can influence Antonio’s decision to remain a blue for the foreseeable future.

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