Thomas Tuchel insists Chelsea’s “hands are tied” as they can not offer Antonio Rudiger a new contract.
Chelsea cannot sign or sell any players under the terms of their current UK Government licence, in light of owner Roman Abramovich’s Downing Street sanctions.
The Blues cannot sign any players to new deals, with Rudiger, Andreas Christensen and Cesar Azpilicueta all out of contract at the end of the season.
Despite the sanctions, Azpilicueta – who has a one-year extension clause in his contract – looks likely to stay at Stamford Bridge, whereas Christensen will reportedly join Barcelona.
Barca were also keen on the Spanish veteran. However, Tuchel believes Chelsea have thwarted the La Liga club’s attempts.
Asked about Azpilicueta’s contract extension, the German head coach replied: “Yes, I knew it was going to happen because I knew the amount of games when it was going to happen. It’s a good thing; it’s good news for us.”
Asked if he expects Azpilicueta to be at Chelsea next season, Tuchel continued: “Yes, absolutely. We have a contract, he’s our captain, so there’s a very high probability that he will stay. I knew it all the time that this is very likely to happen.
“He’s a regular starter for us. You know how much I rely on him and how much impact he has on this club and this group. So it’s very good for us.”
The Barca bosses have hinted that a deal for Christensen is already done, but Tuchel remained coy on his situation.
“We heard the rumours, we heard the same rumours,” he said.
“I have no confirmation for you because I did not speak to A about it at the moment. But we heard the same rumours.”
Meanwhile, Barca representatives have met with Rudiger’s agents this week, but Tuchel has refused to give up hope on convincing the Germany international to commit his future to the Blues.
“I would try to meet him if I were any other club,” said Tuchel.
“Still he’s our player and I still think we have a good chance he stays our player once things are solved for us. Our hands are tied, we cannot offer him or negotiate or renegotiate with his agents. But I’m still confident.”
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