The Chelsea dressing room is growing increasingly frustrated and there are mounting fears Thomas Tuchel could leave Stamford Bridge due to the paralysing restrictions the club is operating under, according to reports
The Blues are prevented from extending player contracts or making signings due to the sanctions imposed on their Russian oligarch owner, Roman Abramovich. As a result, the West Londoners are braced for a defensive exodus with Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen set to join Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively.
Further, captain Cesar Azpilicueta is also linked with Barca and is said to be mulling over his future as three bidders compete to buy the club from Abramovich. Chelsea could also lose important first-teamers in midfield as N’Golo Kante and Jorginho have just over one year remaining on their contracts.
The first player confirmed to be leaving the Blues this summer is Rudiger, who has been one of the best centre-backs in the Premier League this season. Tuchel confirmed the “disappointing” news after Sunday’s 1-0 victory over West Ham and pointed to Abramovich’s sanctioning as the main reason for his fellow German’s departure.
Behind the scenes, The Times claims Rudiger’s imminent move to Real Madrid has irritated players and staff, especially as Tuchel cannot search for a replacement until the takeover is completed. The report adds there are even concerns the situation in West London could force the highly-rated manager to leave.
Rudiger’s exit may prove to be a significant moment in a troubled second half of the season for Chelsea. The 29-year-old is said to have desired a new contract with the club but felt he could not turn down Los Blancos during the drawn-out takeover process.