At varying points during the transfer window, Chelsea’s Antonio Rudiger had been linked with Bayern Munich in what could have been a potential swap deal with Niklas Sule. Thomas Tuchel highly rates Sule and knows that he is nearing the end of his Bayern contract with his future still in question.
Per a new report from the Evening Standard, Rudiger isn’t any close to signing a new Chelsea deal. His current contract is set to expire in June 2022 and he can begin discussions to join other clubs as early as this coming January. Both Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain are reportedly monitoring his situation in addition to Bayern, but the latter could prove to be the best for him if he does, in fact, leave Chelsea next summer. He is reportedly asking for roughly £200,000 a week, while Chelsea is only prepared to offer him £150,000 and aren’t really willing to budge in that department, especially having signed Romelu Lukaku from Inter Milan this summer and bringing in Saul Niguez on loan from Atletico Madrid.
Tuchel would still very much like to keep hold of Rudiger, but he said that it comes down to what the club decides. He can’t really have any say in the contract negotiation process as that’s primarily dealt with by the club’s front office. “I hope that they find solutions, but it’s not only between coaches and players, and what we wish for. And that’s why it’s between the club, the player’s agent at the moment. We hope that they find the solution. He plays excellent, and since a long time was very consistent, on a very high level. I think that Toni feels very, very good at Chelsea. He feels very respected by his team-mates and he feels the importance that he has in the team and in the squad. That’s well deserved because he delivers. He feels the love from the supporters when he plays,” Tuchel explained.
When Frank Lampard was still Chelsea manager, Rudiger was out of favor and the club came close to offloading him to either PSG or Tottenham Hotspur. Had that happened, it could've greatly effected Chelsea’s run to the Champions League title and his form under Tuchel has shown how much of a mistake that would’ve been by Lampard.
For Bayern, Rudiger could be a viable option next summer. Despite his strong performances so far this season, Sule’s future is still in question as Bayern still has not indicated he will be getting a new deal before his contract expires next summer. Julian Nagelsmann might wind up facing the same roadblocks Tuchel is facing with Rudiger at Chelsea from the club’s front office. Finances pertaining to wage structure at Bayern are complex and contain a lot of moving parts to try to best keep everyone happy and such is likely the case at Chelsea, too, especially for Rudiger.
A potential swap deal could return to the negotiating table if that’s something both clubs would actually be interested in. It remains to be seen how much Sule’s minutes will be reduced now that Lucas Hernandez is back fully fit combined with Dayot Upamecano’s bright start this season. While rotation will be necessary, it could be argued that, at this point, Upamecano/Hernandez would be Nagelsmann’s go-to center back pairing for Bayern. Sule might want to be in a position where he knows he’s going to be a guaranteed starter, which could very well be the prospect in a swap deal with Chelsea for Rudiger.
Chelsea has also boasted five clean sheets across all competitions this season, all of which Rudiger was a part of, scoring in the most recent one that came in a 3-0 win at Tottenham over the weekend. That strong defensive record could be attractive to Sule, and from Bayern’s perspective, make Rudiger more desirable.