Thomas Tuchel: Antonio Rudiger does not need pampering to sign new Chelsea deal

Chelsea v Brighton and Hove Albion – Premier League – Stamford Bridge
(Image credit: Adam Davy)

Thomas Tuchel has insisted Antonio Rudiger will not need any “pampering” as Chelsea continue talks with the Germany defender over a new Stamford Bridge contract.

Rudiger’s deal expires in the summer and the 28-year-old can now negotiate an agreement with overseas clubs, with Real Madrid and Paris St Germain among those keen on his services.

The commanding centre-back has excelled under Tuchel and Chelsea remain determined to convince him to stay in west London.

But the Blues boss believes actions will speak louder than words when it comes to the quest to retain the 49-cap defender.

“I don’t know if it helps if I take him out for a lot of coffees, maybe it pushes him out,” said a chuckling Tuchel.

“I don’t feel that he needs a lot of coffees with me; he’s a guy who needs to trust you, he needs to feel the connection, to feel the trust, and he wants to feel it by minutes and by actions.

“I don’t feel Toni that he needs a lot of words, pampering, coffee talks and invitations to dinners and whatever. He’s a top professional, this is what he has proved. He’s very important and nothing has changed.

“We’re in talks, it’s in good hands, because I trust the club 100 per cent and I have trust in my player. So it’s a no-problem situation for me, obviously also for Toni.

Chelsea v Tottenham Hotspur – Carabao Cup – Semi Final – First Leg – Stamford Bridge

Thomas Tuchel (pictured) trusts Chelsea’s bosses to thrash out a new deal with Antonio Rudiger (John Walton/PA)

“He can still deliver, he had a fantastic match now in a back-four, so he’s super reliable.”

Chelsea will host non-league Chesterfield in Saturday’s FA Cup third-round clash, where Tuchel could resist the temptation to field a clutch of youngsters and ease the heavy fixture burden on senior players.

Thiago Silva and N’Golo Kante will continue their Covid-19 isolation, but Andreas Christensen could return after back trouble.

Kai Havertz will be able to play despite a broken finger and Cesar Azpilicueta avoided a muscle injury in the 2-0 Carabao Cup win over Tottenham, instead suffering just cramp.

While Tuchel will rotate Chelsea’s resources, he will also impress upon his players the importance of treating this encounter as seriously as any other.

“You can lose any game in football, that’s why the game’s so popular,” said Tuchel. “So you will never hear me say we can’t lose, that would be hugely arrogant.

“That’s not the attitude we want to approach the game tomorrow. Of course we are favourites, we have the advantage of having no travel and we can play in front of our own fans.

“So yes we are huge favourites, yes we want to win and we demand it of ourselves, but we still respect the game and any opponent.

Andreas Christensen File Photo

Andreas Christensen could return for Chelsea after injury (Tess Derry/PA)

“You can demand it from yourself if you think it through, in any consequence you have to deliver. So we need to be ready, to have a strong squad and one ready to enjoy these minutes.”

Ben Chilwell’s season-ending knee surgery has the Blues seeking extra left-wing-back cover this month.

Tuchel confirmed Chelsea are still looking into the possibility of recalling Emerson Palmieri on loan from Lyon.

The Blues are also understood to retain an interest in Everton’s Lucas Digne should no agreement be struck for Emerson’s Chelsea return this month.

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Asked for an update on the wing-back search, Tuchel replied: “I will not give you any details on that but in general I will not hide from the fact that we have a long-term injury with Ben Chilwell who will miss the whole season.

“And of course we know and appreciate Emerson as a player and a person.

“He had such a huge influence although he didn’t have too many minutes last season, because he’s a top guy and a top professional and he is still a Chelsea player.

“But it’s not only what I wish for. We’re looking into it on this position and that’s one of the options, but I will not comment further.”

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