Bayern Munich issue response to Antonio Rudiger transfer links amid Chelsea contract talks

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Bayern Munich director of sport Hasan Salihamidzic has suggested that a move for Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger is not currently under consideration at the Allianz Arena. Rudiger has established himself as one of Europe’s finest centre-backs under the guidance of Thomas Tuchel at Stamford Bridge, but will leave the Blues on a free transfer at the end of the season as things stand.

Rudiger’s current deal is set to expire next summer, with Chelsea yet to make any concrete progress over the possibility of an extension.

Talks have reportedly been ongoing for some time but a solution has not yet been found, meaning that Rudiger could negotiate a free transfer to a foreign club from January if the situation is not resolved by the new year.

The 28-year-old has been linked with a number of top European sides as of late, including the likes of Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus.

Bayern have also been credited with an interest in Rudiger, with boss Julian Nagelsmann recently hinting that he could look to sign the defender ahead of next season.

The 34-year-old joked that he may have to ‘see if I still have money in my wallet’ in a press conference earlier this week, but club director Salihamidzic has since played down the links over a move for the Chelsea man.

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“It’s not okay when we talk about players who are at other clubs,” Salihamidzic told DAZN.

“Julian said that about him in the press conference, but he is a coach who sees quite a lot of players, so why shouldn’t he evaluate an international and talk about his strengths?

“[Bayern are] really well-staffed at centre-back. We have strengthened ourselves very well and brought in a top player in [Dayot] Upamecano.

“Lucas Hernandez is there, Tanguy Nianzou is there, Benjamin Pavard can also play inside, we are really very, very well staffed.

“We [he and Nagelsmann] have had very little time. I had an appointment today on Friday.

“We didn’t see each other for that long, but we talk a lot about players, sure.”

It remains to be seen whether Rudiger will eventually commit to Chelsea on a long-term basis or leave the club in search of a new challenge next summer.

Blues boss Tuchel insisted earlier this month that he is not losing any sleep over the defender’s contract situation but urged him to stay in order to help the club achieve further success over the coming years.

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“It’s between the club and the player’s agent,” said Tuchel.

“He plays excellent for a long time, very consistent [and] at a very high level. I feel him very calm, very focused and it’s obviously not a distraction for him.

“So give things time. Sometimes it needs a bit longer, sometimes things get very fast. There’s no news from my side.

“I think Toni feels very, very good at Chelsea. He feels respect from his team-mates, he feels the importance he has in the team.

“It’s well deserved because he delivers. He feels the love from the supporters. He plays in the strongest league in Europe and in a big club, so not many reasons to change.

“But it’s in good hands. I’m calm and relaxed, whatever has to happen will happen.”

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