Chelsea’s Antonio Rüdiger has undergone a magnificent renaissance under Thomas Tuchel to the extent that he’s become one of Chelsea’s most influential playmakers. But now, they are forced to sit back and watch as the departure of their star man Rüdiger looms large..
Currently, Real Madrid are leading the race to sign him ahead of the likes of Manchester United and Barcelona. Recent speculations indicate the likeliest option for Rüdiger to move to is Santiago Bernabéu as Madrid are in advanced talks with Rüdiger’s representatives.
There was a growing sense in all the Chelsea supporters as though Rüdiger would surely go on to play for the Blues for many years to come, seeing his responsibility to take it upon himself to surge forward every time it looked like Chelsea were going stale. Some even believed he would one day captain Chelsea. However, such a fairytale eventuality wasn’t to be for Chelsea fans, as the defender is now set to depart for Real Madrid.
This comes in largely unjust circumstances as Chelsea are currently operating under government-specified restrictive license. Due to these limitations, Chelsea are in a semi-frozen state with all their revenue streams put on hold, making them unable to resume their commercial activities like offering contract renewals/extensions and engaging in any kind of transfer sales.
Despite that, Chelsea have tried to accommodate closer and closer to Rüdiger’s demands however, the player has now refused to sign the contract extension, making his desire to leave final. The contract was proving very difficult to negotiate, especially considering the current uncertainty surrounding the club. But all is sealed now as even Thomas Tuchel has confirmed the news of his leaving as a free agent once his contract runs out – a wish the defender has personally expressed to Tuchel.
"Now we enter in a situation where we could not fight anymore because of the sanctions."
Thomas Tuchel said Chelsea did everything to try to keep Antonio Rüdiger.
— B/R Football (@brfootball) April 24, 2022
‘We had big offers for him and the club tried everything but we cannot fight any more because we have the sanctions,’ said Thomas Tuchel, finally conceding defeat in his attempts to retain Rüdiger.
‘Our hands are tied. We don’t take it personally. It is his decision.’
Chelsea have been locked in negotiations with Antonio Rüdiger over contract extension for over nine months, however, the financial terms of the contract didn’t seem to appeal to the defender. Although the club revised their renewal offer upwards, Rüdiger still seemed determined on the course to push for an even bigger deal. These high wage demands remained a bottleneck for Chelsea, eventually leading to his departure amid a volatile club situation.
According to Fabrizio Romano, it is believed that a verbal agreement over a four-year deal has now been reached between Real Madrid and Chelsea’s Antonio Rüdiger with only the signatures pending. Official announcement can’t be made until the end of the season.
The agreement between Toni Rüdiger and Real Madrid has been reached on a four year deal, valid until June 2026. ⚪️🤝 #RealMadrid
It’s matter of final details before signing the contracts. No official announcement before the end of the season, even if Toni will sign in May. pic.twitter.com/gnTAv6GYr3
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) April 25, 2022
Rüdiger has been routinely stealing for himself most week’s headlines ever since his precarious contract situation was made public. Not a month ago, his agent was discovered holding meetings with Barcelona and Real Madrid – the latter pursuing the Germany international aggressively – over a potential move away from Chelsea. This engineered speculation has finally turned into serious attention now that everything is already done and dusted.
Losing Rüdiger will be a huge blow for Chelsea as he’s one of Thomas Tuchel’s most dependable centre-backs. On top of that, he’s also a crowd favourite at Stamford Bridge. Across the media, he is widely touted as an ‘aggressive leader’ due to his intensity and ferocity both on and off the pitch, without relinquishing any of his trademark confidence; the traits even Tuchel is an admirer of.
Thomas Tuchel on Antonio Rudiger replacement:
"At the moment no because of the sanctions but then it will be difficult because Toni is what he is. A big personality, a leader, and he takes fear away from other people."
— Absolute Chelsea (@AbsoluteChelsea) April 24, 2022
Tuchel acknowledges finding a replacement for Rüdiger is going to be a tough challenge to navigate especially considering the sanctions. However, the blues boss is hopeful he will ‘find solutions’.
‘We will miss him a lot. It will be challenging but, no matter how much I love Toni and how big a role he has played, there will be life at Chelsea without Toni Rudiger. We will find solutions.’
And in Tuchel, we trust..
WATCH: Chelsea’s out-of-favour striker Romelu Lukaku scores twice in action-packed second half 🔥
Romelu Lukaku scores twice v Wolves: Chelsea welcomed Wolverhampton Wanderers to Stamford Bridge tonight in a contest where they were hopeful of reversing their poor run of form to guarantee themselves a Champions League berth.
Despite the Blues receiving two goal scoring opportunities in the first-half of the game, it still ended in a stalemate. However, as the second-half commenced, Romelu Lukaku stepped up to strike twice in quick succession to put Chelsea on a trajectory toward what appeared to be a deserved victory at that time.
Lukaku’s goal tally for Chelsea this season has totalled up to 14 now, causing him to become the highest goal scorer for the Blues, just a goal ahead of Kai Havertz. His performance tonight underlines his renewed confidence as he looks to be approaching the sort of form that had deserted him for most of the season.
Romelu Lukaku hadn’t scored in the Premier League since December 29th.
129 days later and he's got a brace in 3 minutes ⚽⚽ pic.twitter.com/FzZx49vvHw
— B/R Football (@brfootball) May 7, 2022
Watch how Romelu Lukaku scores twice in quick succession to give Chelsea’s scoreline an uplift:
The first goal came in response to a VAR call for a foul committed by Saiss on Romelu Lukaku as both players were caught up in a tangle on the edge of the penalty area.
Watch Lukaku’s left-footed penalty here:
The second goal was a Pulisic interception that found Lukaku who then completed the play with an emphatic low finish from the edge of the box with his weaker right foot.
Romelu Lukaku gets his brace with an assist from Christian Pulisic!
— Chelsea FC USA (@ChelseaFCinUSA) May 7, 2022
Lukaku wasn’t able to register himself on the scoresheet for Chelsea ever since the start of year 2022 – a daunting prospect for such an expensive striker – however, that record has been laid to rest today as his goals v Wolves have certainly managed to make a statement of his intent.
It’s a shame that a subpar defensive performance from his side overshadowed his monumental return to form. Chelsea were stripped to bone with comeback goals from Wolves that added misery to Chelsea’s hopes of securing a victory. The game ended in an unanticipated 2-2 draw.
After racking up underwhelming results from their recent run-ins, Chelsea are looking a lot less comfortable in the rough and tumble of Premier League’s top-four now. With the fourth-placed Arsenal and fifth-placed Tottenham breathing down Chelsea’s neck, their margin for error has now decreased to just two points, especially after having picked up only 5 points from a possible 15.
Official: Todd Boehly’s consortium signs agreement with Chelsea FC to succeed Roman Abramovich
Chelsea released an official statement in the early hours of Saturday morning confirming that the terms have been agreed with the LA Dodgers’ part-owner Todd Boehly’s consortium to complete the £4.25bn takeover of the club though the acquisition is yet to be approved by the Premier League authorities as well as the UK government.
The statement read:
‘Chelsea Football Club can confirm that terms have been agreed for a new ownership group, led by Todd Boehly, Clearlake Capital, Mark Walter and Hansjoerg Wyss, to acquire the Club’.
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) May 7, 2022
🚨🔵 Official. Chelsea statement now confirms that “terms have been agreed for a new ownership group, led by Todd Boehly, Clearlake Capital, Mark Walter and Hansjoerg Wyss, to acquire the Club”. #CFC
It’s the end of Roman Abramovich era. pic.twitter.com/fTw5EMdd8p
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) May 7, 2022
Last week, it was revealed that Todd Boehly & Co were Raine Group’s preferred choice to succeed Roman Abramovich following which the group were given one-week window of exclusive negotiations with the club to finalise the takeover. The deal had appeared in doubt due to late interest from Sir Jim Ratcliffe, however, those fears were dissipated as the Ratcliffe bid was later dismissed on account of his inability to complete the sale process by May 31st – the date when Chelsea’s current license expires.
Although the group is fronted by Todd Boehly, private equity firm Clearlake Capital is the one providing the majority of the financial firepower to it. The consortium also includes Swiss billionaire Hansjörg Wyss, Boehly’s fellow LA Dodgers’ owner Mark Walter and the British property developer Jonathan Goldstein.
As per Chelsea’s official statement, the £4.25bn headline sum includes the £2.5bn cost required to secure shares in Chelsea – which will go into a frozen UK bank account for the purpose of releasing 100 per cent of the proceeds to charitable causes – the remaining £1.75bn is the amount the group have committed to invest in the club’s future, covering costs regarding redevelopment projects and ensuring there are sufficient funds in place for operational use.
‘The proposed new owners will commit £1.75bn in further investment for the benefit of the Club. This includes investments in Stamford Bridge, the Academy, the Women’s Team and Kingsmeadow and continued funding for the Chelsea Foundation’.
The Clause also placed a limit on the debt the new owners can place on the club.
It also made sure the group pledged £1.75B to be invested in Chelsea's male and female teams, the academy, stadium, and the Chelsea Foundation.
Roman Abramovich secured Chelsea for at least 10yrs. pic.twitter.com/RhZ985Vuxq
— SportsDokita (Odogwu ☝️) (@Sports_Doctor2) May 7, 2022
Few final, obligatory steps remain in the official transfer of ownership of Chelsea Football Club to Todd Boehly’s consortium, one of which requires all group members to complete the Premier League Owners’ and Directors’ Test. Furthermore, Chelsea will have to apply for the amended license from the UK government that would upgrade the club’s operational capacity in addition to allowing the transaction to go ahead. The preparations are underway as the Raine Group wants the sale process to reach its completion as soon as possible.
Chelsea team news v Wolverhampton Wanderers: Four players on the injury list, including a midfield duo.
Chelsea team news v Wolverhampton Wanderers: Chelsea welcome Wolverhampton Wanderers to Stamford Bridge on Saturday where they will be looking to reverse their poor run of form to guarantee themselves a Champions League berth. There are four player absentees that have been confirmed so far by head coach, Thomas Tuchel, in today’s pre-match conference.
After racking up underwhelming results from their recent run-ins, Chelsea are looking a lot less comfortable in the rough and tumble of Premier League’s top-four now. With the fourth-placed Arsenal and fifth-placed Tottenham breathing down Chelsea’s neck, their margin for error has now decreased to just three points, especially after having picked up only 4 points from a possible 12.
Chelsea team news v Wolverhampton Wanderers: The central midfield duo N’Golo Kante and Jorginho are ruled out of action for tomorrow’s clash as reported by Thomas Tuchel at a press briefing today.
Additionally, the long-term absentees Callum Hudson-Odoi and Ben Chilwell also remain restricted to the sidelines, despite returning to light training.
— Absolute Chelsea (@AbsoluteChelsea) May 6, 2022
N’Golo Kante had sustained a knock in the game against Manchester United, consequently missing last weekend’s trip to Everton where his fellow midfielder Jorginho was taken off the pitch at interval.
‘For N’Golo it comes too early. Jorginho is out as well, these two are missing. Callum and Ben Chilwell are still out,’ said the Blues boss.
The duo’s unavailability will give way to introducing Kovačić and most likely RLC in their stead as the latter is currently enjoying an upturn in form.
Mateo Kovačić returned to action as a half-time substitute last weekend after missing a couple games on account of nursing an ankle injury. He stands the highest chance of featuring a start in tomorrow’s game v Wolves.
There is a growing feeling that Tuchel might give Romelu Lukaku a start tomorrow, considering his substitute Kai Havertz is also struggling to find the form that has recently deserted him.
Thomas Tuchel has expressed optimism regarding Lukaku’s reaction in training this week. The Blues boss said;
‘I want him to be an important part of the squad, right now he is very important. There is no recruitment and no players are about to leave because it’s simply not possible,’
‘We need to adapt all the time, to contractual situations and also individual situations, to what we and the players want.
‘We signed a big player, he is a big player. He didn’t come on [at Everton] as we had only three changes, and unfortunately we used one at half-time with Jorginho. Otherwise there was a huge chance we had the same changes as against West Ham, with Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech,’
‘He trained very well, maybe he starts tomorrow, we’ll see.’
🗣️ "Maybe starts tomorrow, let's see." 👀
Thomas Tuchel says he wants Romelu Lukaku to be an important part of the squad next season and discusses why he wasn't played against Everton 🔵 pic.twitter.com/n8Lf0sEvRP
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) May 6, 2022