Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has admitted that he is not happy to see a respected figure such as Antonio Rudiger leave the club although he acknowledged that the German’s decision to leave the club should be respected. Rudiger will leave the European champions on a free transfer in the summer.
Antonio Rudiger arrived at Chelsea from Roma for a reported initial fee of £29 million on a five-year deal and the German centre back quickly went on to establish himself as one of the best defenders in the league. The 28-year-old has made 196 appearances for the London club while scoring twelve goals and providing seven assists across all competitions.
The German has helped the English club win a host of trophies during his time including the Champions League, the FA Cup, and the Europa League. The defender’s current contract expires in less than six months and both parties have failed to find an agreement which means that the German will depart Stamford Bridge in the upcoming summer.
Blues boss Thomas Tuchel had confirmed the defender’s decision to leave the club last week and reports have suggested that the German centreback has agreed to join Real Madrid on a free transfer. The German manager insisted that Rudiger’s departure will be a huge loss to the team although he claimed that the defender’s final decision must be respected by everyone.
"I don't think anybody likes it. He gives everybody confidence in the dressing room. He is a unique character and plays on an outstanding level. He sometimes takes the focus towards him, he loves responsibility. Nobody likes this decision but we have to accept it. Like it or not there will be life at Chelsea after Toni. It is also the most important thing for us that it ends like it started, on the highest level,” Tuchel told Sky Sports.
“No matter how the situation is solved and how active we can be in the transfer market, at the end we will dig in and we will try to squeeze out everything from the squad that we have,” he added.