Chelsea face critical time with FOUR defenders out of contract in June

Antonio Rudiger is eyeing up his final pay day, Andreas Christensen is playing hardball, while players are unhappy with the club stalling over Cesar Azpilicueta’s deal… Chelsea face a critical time with FOUR senior defenders out of contract in June

  • Chelsea could find themselves in a defensive crisis this summer with deals up 
  • Cesar Azpilicueta, Andreas Christensen and Thiago Silva could depart in June
  • As could centre back Antonio Rudiger as his contract also expires next year 
  • Sportsmail looks at the four players the Blues run the risk of losing for nothing

Chelsea could find themselves in a defensive crisis this summer with four senior defenders possibly on their way out.

Cesar Azpilicueta, Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen and Thiago Silva are all on deals that expire in June.

It emerged this week that other Blues stars are reportedly ‘bewildered’ and ‘unhappy’ that Azpilicueta, who lifted the Champions League trophy back in May, has not seen his contract extended.

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel could find himself without four senior defenders this summer

While Thomas Tuchel has star full backs Reece James and Ben Chilwell at his disposal and Trevoh Chalobah continues to impress, the quartet are pivotal cogs in his well-oiled machine.

Chelsea face a critical time in negotiations with all four able to pursue a pre-contract agreement with foreign clubs from next month.

Here, Sportsmail looks at the four players who the Blues are running the risk of losing for absolutely nothing. 

The versatile defender has been an instrumental figure since arriving from Marseille in 2012, but Chelsea could let him go for nothing. 

The Spaniard has won seven trophies at Stamford Bridge, including two Premier League titles, and some of his team-mates are confused as to why his future remains up in the air, according to Eurosport.

Azpilicueta has made an impressive 445 appearances for the west London club, including 16 games for Tuchel’s outfit this season. 

Blues skipper Cesar Azpilicueta could leave for nothing with new contract talks stalling

The scintillating displays of James as well as the emergence of Chalobah has impacted the 32-year-old’s game time this season but he has been captain for all but two of the matches he’s played. 

A return to his homeland could be on the cards with Barcelona and Atletico Madrid linked with a free transfer for the defender. 

Azpilicueta hasn’t recently addressed his future publicly but did express complete faith in the club back in January.

‘I don’t have any concerns,’ Azpilicueta said, when asked about his contract situation. ‘I feel fully trusted by the club since I arrived.’ 

Given his age and the club stalling on a possible extension it appears Azpilicueta could be allowed to move on to pastures new… but he would receive a warm send-off. 

Antonio Rudiger

The Germany international has been one of Chelsea’s standout performers so far this season.  

Interest has moved up a notch amid those strong defensive displays with clubs circling knowing that Rudiger’s Blues contract is winding down.

European giants Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich have been touted as possible summer landing spots with his Chelsea future uncertain.

Negotiations appear to be ongoing with Tuchel insisting last month that Rudiger knows that the club want to tie him down to a new deal. 

Centre back Antonio Rudiger, who has been a star performer this season, could also leave

‘Everybody wants him to stay, it’s clear but sometimes there is a delay in these things and there is obviously a delay,’ he said.

‘He knows what he has here, a fantastic club, fantastic league. He’s a competitor. We’ll have a bit of patience and hopefully a happy end.’

‘They’ve got to pay him so he feels he’s paid what he should be, which is upper echelons of the squad,’ Rio Ferdinand told BT Sport following Rudiger’s fine performance in a 3-0 win at Leicester.

Madrid are reportedly the frontrunners to get a deal over the line for the 28-year-old with Chelsea talks hitting a stumbling block.

European clubs will be salivating at the prospect of signing a defender of Rudiger’s calibre for nothing in the summer and his departure would be hugely detrimental to Chelsea – and that appears likely at this stage.

Andreas Christensen 

The centre half has got, arguably, the best part of his career ahead of him at just 25 years of age. 

And the Denmark defender appears to be keeping his options open while there seems to be miscommunication at Stamford Bridge.

Tuchel believed the two parties had reached an agreement but new terms are still unsigned after a change in Christensen’s demands.

Andreas Christensen is another centre half that is out of contract at Stamford Bridge in June

In fact, Tuchel revealed that the centre back has been delivered an ultimatum and was dropped from his side over failing to pen to paper on a new deal.

‘We have the hope that it (Christensen’s lack of action) influences the contract situation a little bit,’ Tuchel said, hinting that the issues are linked.

Like Azpilicueta, Christensen has made 16 appearances for the Blues in the 2021-22 campaign and has made 10 Premier League starts. 

He has created a formidable partnership alongside Rudiger and Thiago Silva when selected for the backline after starring for Denmark at Euro 2020 in the summer. 

Negotiations over a potential extension have hit a brick wall with neither side willing to compromise.

Christensen has the chance to become Chelsea’s new leader at the back should Azpilicueta and Rudiger depart. It’s likely that a resolution to keep him at Chelsea will eventually come to fruition.

Thiago Silva

Thiago Silva is one of the best pieces of transfer business Chelsea have managed in recent years, snapping up the Brazil star for free in the summer of 2020.

The 37-year-old has brought leadership, solidity and a commanding presence to the back four and helped them conquer Europe last season.

In less than 18 months the centre back has played 51 times, becoming one of Tuchel’s key men after following him through the door from PSG. 

He only signed on an initial one-year deal but agreed a one-year contract extension in June taking him through to 2022. 

Given his importance to the side another short-term deal could well be on the cards, particularly if he helps them win more silverware. 

Thiago Silva could be let go this summer but he has made a significant impact at Chelsea

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