Chelsea have reportedly dropped a bombshell as the club have halted contract extension talks with start defender Antonio Rudiger. Rudiger is out of contract at the end of this season and is yet to agree on an extension. Though he has repeatedly expressed his wish to continue at Chelsea, this new update is quite opposing. Media outlet Sky Sports have come up with this update, along with dismissing the rumors that the club has already offered an improved extension offer to Rudiger.
Rudiger has been a crucial part of the Chelsea team since Thomas Tuchel’s appointment. The German center-back has formed a solid partnership with Thiago Silva at the back, helping the club win their second Champions League trophy last season. Moreover, Rudiger followed the UCL triumph with a UEFA Super Cup and Club World Cup. Just when everybody thought he would stay at the club for longer, the extension talks have completely stopped.
Chelsea feel ‘betrayed’ by Antonio Rudiger
Rudiger joined Chelsea in 2017 from Roma. The center-back became a regular name in the starting eleven, making 45 appearances across all competitions in his debut season. His incredible physical game suited the premier league well and every Blues fan thought he is here to stay beyond 2022. The defender also seemed committed to donning the Chelsea shirt for many more years. His contract extension talks were also going smooth, until the last few days. Rudiger has reportedly demanded a higher salary than he earns now. According to reports, the salary he demands would make him the Premier League’s highest-paid defender.
Since joining the Blues Antonio Rudiger has made 183 appearances for them and won five major honors over the last four-and-a-half years. This season too, Rudiger has played 34 games so far, helping the club keep 16 clean-sheets in those. However, his contribution in the attack is also somewhat significant for a center-back, scoring 3 goals and assisting 4 so far this season. Rudiger currently earns €120,000 per week and has demanded a mammoth increase in it. The Chelsea top brass found this demand a totally unexpected one and is not ready to give in. As a result, the club has stopped the negotiations of an extension with Rudiger and his agents.
Since the extension talks are off, Antonio Rudiger can now negotiate with other clubs for a summer transfer. Many of Europe’s top clubs are reportedly in line to sign the center-back. Real Madrid, PSG, and even Chelsea’s rivals Manchester United are also ready to snatch him for free in the summer. But it remains to be seen which of these are ready to facilitate Rudiger’s salary demands. Chelsea might also contemplate giving one last shot and offer Antonio Rudiger an extension offer later in the summer. Meanwhile, it can be said that the ball is in Rudiger’s court over making the decision.