Tuchel confident Rudiger will stay at Chelsea

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel spoke at a press conference on Friday ahead of the west London derby against Brentford.

He was asked about speculation about four of his players: Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen, Romelu Lukaku and Cesar Azpilicueta.

Lukaku is said to be unhappy at Stamford Bridge, while the contracts of Rudiger and Christensen expire in the summer and the sanctions imposed on Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich mean the club cannot currently negotiate new deals.

But captain Azpilicueta looks likely to stay after a clause in his contract enabling the club to extend it by a year was activated.

Here’s what Tuchel had to say….

On reports Rudiger’s representatives are speaking to Barcelona:

“If it’s true, yes. I would try to meet him if I was in any other club.

“Still he’s our player and I still think we have a good chance that he stays our player once things are solved for us.

“But the situation is the situation. At the moment our hands are tied. We cannot speak to him, we cannot offer him (a contract) and we cannot negotiate with him and his agent.

“So, fair enough – if it’s true – that he listens to other offers. That’s the way things go. But I’m still confident.”

On Barca being tipped to sign Christensen:

“We’ve heard the rumours. I have no confirmation. I did not speak to Andreas about it at the moment. But we heard the same rumours.”

On Lukaku being linked with a return to Inter Milan:

“We don’t reflect on it. The situation at the moment is that we cannot sell and cannot buy, so in this moment we don’t even need to think about it.

“Romelu still plays a big part – not the part that he maybe wants to play and I totally understand that.

“But I feel him very motivated, very strong in training and very much involved. He is a winner and will stay a winner and will stay important for us.

“There’s no space for being distracted and we need all the players to be focused.”

On Azpilicueta’s contract extension:

“I knew it was going to happen. Now he has a contract there is a very high probability he stays.”