It’s been said many times before, but if a key player enters the final 12 months of their contract then they hold all of the power.
The last thing any team wants is to lose a key asset for nothing, but that could be the case for Chelsea and Antonio Rudiger as his contract runs out next summer.
Fabrizio Romano has offered an update on the latest with his situation, and there are mixed messages in here for the Chelsea fans:
Toni Rüdiger situation. Rüdiger priority is to stay, talks are still ongoing between Chelsea and his agents – but the agreement is ‘far from being reached’, as things stand now. ? #CFC
Many clubs interested in signing Rüdiger in case he’ll be a free agent. The race is open. pic.twitter.com/gHEVSAQiW9
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) October 22, 2021
If he wants to stay then that has to be seen as a positive, but he can negotiate with other teams in January and if an agreement is “far from being reached”, then it suggests this could be allowed to drag on for a few more weeks.
The other problem for Chelsea is interested sides will be more likely to offer giant wages if they don’t have to pay a fee, and that means they might have to pay him more than they really want to.
The initial reaction may be to question Chelsea for letting his deal run down, but he wasn’t a key player over the past couple of seasons as he only played in 39 league games, so his run of form and increased status in the team this year has been perfectly timed from the player’s point of view.
He will turn 29 next year so this is probably his last chance to secure a major multi-year contract, so you can be sure his agent is encouraging him to hold out and see exactly what’s on offe