Exclusive – Chelsea have opened talks with centre-back Antonio Rudiger over a new and improved contract - a reward for the way the Germany international has returned to the fold and been a crucial part of the resurgence brought about by new manager Thomas Tuchel.
Rudiger was deemed surplus to requirements by former boss Frank Lampard ahead of this season and had made only four Premier League appearances by the time the club legend was sacked in January.
However, he has been a regular since Tuchel was appointed and Chelsea have conceded only three times in the 12 league appearances he has made under his compatriot, and was tellingly absent for the shock 5-2 collapse against West Brom at the start of April.
Rudiger currently has a contract with a little over a year left on it, but he previously rejected the opportunity to sign a new deal in 2020 when it was Chelsea’s intention to agree an extension and then send him on loan as there was no place for him in Lampard’s plans.
Things have significantly changed for Rudiger under Tuchel. 90min has been informed by a source close to the situation that Chelsea have been very happy with the player’s return to the team. He wants a pay rise and his form merits that, while Tuchel is also happy for him to pen fresh terms.
The player himself, who cost around £30m when he joined from Roma in 2017, was always perplexed by his treatment by Lampard and is delighted to be involved once more under Tuchel.