Chelsea legend Gianfranco Zola does not expect Antonio Rudiger, Cesar Azpilicueta and Andreas Christensen all to stay at the club beyond the end of the season.
All three have contracts that expire in June and Zola says that, while he can see two of them remaining at Stamford Bridge, he predicts that either Azpilicueta or Rudiger will leave:
“It’s a particular situation because they are three players from the same position. We are talking about two of them being key players and have been very successful at the club. Right now, they are playing all the time – that is Rudiger and Azpilicueta. The third one hasn’t played as much but is the youngest.”
“You don’t want to lose players when they have been so good like Azpilicueta and Rudiger. At the same time, you don’t want to lose a good prospect like Christensen. I think we will see two stay – but don’t ask me the names. Luckily, I am not Tuchel and it is very easy for me not to answer the question. I would maybe keep the young one and one other. It is not very respectful and I don’t want to sound disrespectful because they have given the club so much.”
The situations of the three players are very different. Rudiger wants to stay but the German international has, so far, not been given a contract that satisfies his wage demands. He has been linked with Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Tottenham and Manchester United.
Azpilicueta, meanwhile, is unhappy with the length of contract he has been offered by the Blues. The club captain wants more than a one-year extension and that could lead to him moving to Barcelona.
Christensen’s case is the most complicated. Chelsea feel that an agreement had been reached with the Dane but a change of agents muddied the waters and it appears he is the likeliest to move on currently.