Antonio Rudiger has broken his silence on his future at Chelsea amid reports he has opened negotiations with Bayern Munich.
According to a report from Goal, the Bundesliga champions have been in touch with the Chelsea defender’s agent and brother, Sahr Senesie, but negotiations are said to only be ‘preliminary’ at the moment.
Rudiger has less than 12 months remaining on his contract with the Blues and talks over a new deal are understood to have taken place, but no agreement is close as it stands.
Bayern manager Julian Nagelsmann reportedly believes the 28-year-old would be a good replacement for Niklas Sule, who could leave the German club next summer.
Despite talks over a new contract for Rudiger being underway, 90Min reports that the Chelsea centre-back is looking ‘increasingly likely’ to leave the club at the end of the season.
Rudiger is said to want to become one of the club’s highest earners, feeling that his performances since Thomas Tuchel took charge have warranted such terms.
Tuchel reportedly sees agreeing a new deal with the central defender as a priority, but that has been complicated by his demands.
Now, Rudiger has broken his silence on the speculation surrounding his future, with the defender claiming he has not spoken to any other clubs about a move, despite the reports.
He said to SID, via Sky Sports Germany: “For me, this will now be the most important decision of my professional career. I have never spoken to any other club than Chelsea.”
Speaking earlier this month, the Blues boss insisted the German was “very calm and focused” despite the continuous speculation over his future.
Tuchel said: “I hope that they find solutions (over extending Rudiger’s stay), but it’s not only between coaches and players, and what we wish for, and that’s why it’s between the club, the players and the agent at the moment.
“We hope that they find the solution and everything I can say, he plays excellent, and since a long time very consistent, on a very high level.
“I see him very calm and focused, and it’s not a distraction for him. So everything is in place, and give things the time they need. Sometimes it needs a bit longer, sometimes things are very fast.
“There’s no news from my side, and I think that Toni feels very, very good at Chelsea, he feels very respected by his team-mates and he feels the importance that he has in the team and in the squad.
“That’s well deserved because he delivers, he feels the love from the supporters when he plays.
“He’s in the strongest league in Europe, in a big club, so not many reasons to change that.
“But in the end it’s between him and the club, and that’s in good hands. I am calm and relaxed, whatever has to happen will happen.”