Rudiger ‘demands Chelsea wages are doubled’ as Blues face transfer decision
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Antonio Rudiger has reportedly demanded his Chelsea salary is doubled as the Blues face a decision over whether to hand him a new contract.
The 28-year-old has been key to Chelsea's success under Thomas Tuchel, and he continued his fine form in Tuesday's Champions League win over Zenit St Petersburg.
Rudiger made a crucial challenge to prevent Sardar Azmoun from giving Zenit the lead, while earlier he had the Stamford Bridge crowd off their feet when he shot just wide after a surging run from inside his own half.
But the centre-back is in the final year of his contract, and is said to be on the radar of Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid since revitalising his Chelsea career under Tuchel.
And his situation is complicated by Chelsea's interest in Jules Kounde, with the Premier League club expected to renew their pursuit of the Sevilla defender in the January transfer window.
Tuchel has previously spoken of his hope that Rudiger will sign a new deal, but the Germany defender wants twice his current wages, according to a report from Bild in his homeland.
Christian Falk of the German publication tweeted that Chelsea would have to double Rudiger's gross annual salary of €5.5million (£4.7m) to convince him to sign a new deal.
The journalist added that Kounde was offered €4.5m (£3.8m) after tax by the West London club, with Sevilla having refused to sell.
If true, the report means Chelsea would face a tough decision on whether to offer Rudiger a huge pay hike, or risk letting him leave on a free.
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The club could then look to sign Kounde as a replacement – but while he has impressed in la Liga, the 22-year-old would have to adapt to the Premier League.
If no new contract is agreed by January, Rudiger will be able to negotiate a pre-contract agreement with clubs from abroad.
And Bayern, PSG and Madrid would all be keen to land the defender on a free, according to German outlet Sport 1 , cited by La Colina de Nervion.
Earlier this year, Tuchel expressed his hope that Rudiger would extend his stay at Stamford Bridge.
"Nothing is better than what he is doing for a new contract," the manager said back in May. "If he wants to have a new contract he has our full support to stay at the club.
"He is speaking with his performances; he has been amazing since day one. We chose him in the first match after just one day of training.
"I had a clear picture of what he can deliver to a team and he took the chance. Since then it's well deserved he is in the team. He is an aggressive leader, has this natural aggressivity in him. He hates to lose, is hard to beat in duels, is very brave, and full of energy in his defending.
“He is leading by example and has a very positive aggressivity in him. This is what we like. When he can channel all this into top performances, as he does now, we are all very happy to have him."
- Champions League
- Premier League
- Chelsea FC
- Thomas Tuchel
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