Chelsea chief Marina Granovskaia on course to knock £30m off annual wage bill

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Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia does not appear to be making any progress while negotiating contract extensions with several of Thomas Tuchel’s squad meaning she is on course to slash a blockbuster £30million off the club’s annual wage bill.

Star defender Antonio Rudiger is demanding a mega payrise to remain at Stamford Bridge beyond this season.

The German centre-back has been one of the Blues’ star performers but is allowed to sign a pre-agreement with a foreign club after entering the last six months of his deal.

Rudiger earns £100,000 a week, or £5.2million a year, according to spotrac. The 28-year-old is wanted by many of Europe’s top sides including Real Madrid and Barcelona.

However, he is demanding as much as £400,000 to remain in west London, according to numerous reports.

If Granovskaia does not make any progress over the coming months then the ex-Stuttgart and Roma man could be on the move.

To add to Granovskaia’s problems, she is also tasked with trying to keep fellow defender Andreas Christensen under Tuchel’s command.

The 25-year-old scored in the 5-1 FA Cup victory over Chesterfield on Saturday but his future could lie elsewhere.

Barcelona are eyeing a bargain and any departure could free up £80,000 a week, or £4.1m a year.

Most of the savings Granovskaia will come from not activating the option to buy Saul Niguez from Atletico Madrid.

The Spanish midfielder has barely featured this season and earns a stunning £200,000 a week, making him Chelsea’s fourth highest earner behind Romelu Lukaku, N’Golo Kane and Timo Werner.

The £10.4m a year salary would be a major boost to Tuchel’s summer kitty.

Granovskaia may need to invest that budget into more defenders as club captain Cesar Azpilicueta is also in the final months of his deal and has been coy over his future.

The Spaniard, who earns £150,000 a week (£7.8m a year), earlier this week said: “Eventually the moment will come, but I am fully focused on hopefully getting as many trophies as we can and then we will see.

“I cannot say anything more than that I am really committed and have a lot of things ahead in the coming months and hopefully we can have a very good season.”

The final main departure could see youngster Charly Musonda be released from his £2.2m salary.

In total, Granovskaia would save £29.7m if she let all of Rudiger, Christensen, Saul, Azpilicueta and Musonda walk away for free – and most of that would likely be invested in a busy summer transfer window.

*all figures from www.spotrac.com

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