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Andreas Christensen’s Chelsea progress delights Tuchel but contract talks stall

·3-min read
<span>Photograph: Paul Ellis/AFP/Getty Images</span>
Photograph: Paul Ellis/AFP/Getty Images

Thomas Tuchel has revealed his admiration for Andreas Christensen, whose Chelsea future is in doubt after talks over a new contract stalled.

Christensen’s current deal runs out at the end of the season and negotiations with the 25-year-old, who will be able to negotiate a pre-contract agreement with foreign clubs from 1 January, have reached an impasse. Chelsea have offered the Denmark international a four-year deal, with the option of an extra year, but there has been no contact between the two parties since August.

However, there is still optimism that Christensen’s future will be resolved. The centre-back struggled under Frank Lampard’s management but has become a crucial member of Tuchel’s squad.

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“I think it is important we accept the personality of every player,” Tuchel said. “Some are more loud, some aggressive, some more calm. He’s a calm guy, very intelligent player, and sometimes you can get maybe a bit misled by judging him from his personality, because he is a hard defender and he is a guy who is not shy to have hard tackles and win challenges and step up in games. He found his place.

“He is very strong, very reliable and he has not reached his limits because in his age there is still room to improve. He can be a top defender for us in the next years and hopefully he will be because he comes from the academy. He knows what it takes and he has improved massively so far but it is not done yet – you have to show it over and over. There are big examples in this club of what it takes to be a legend in defence and there is still a way to go but we are very happy so far.”

Antonio Rüdiger is also out of contract at the end of the season. The German centre-back has been targeted by Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and Juventus, although Chelsea hope to keep him. Chelsea are also in talks with César Azpilicueta and Trevoh Chalobah over new deals.

Tuchel added that Tuesday’s Carabao Cup tie against Southampton could provide Saúl Ñíguez with a chance to ignite his Chelsea career. The midfielder has made only three appearances since joining the European champions on a season-long loan from Atlético Madrid and he is in contention to start against Ralph Hasenhüttl’s team.

“These are the moments, in the Carabao Cup, to give some players some minutes,” Tuchel said. “Still, it needs to make sense and we need to be fair to the players in his position.

“Do we have his position available? That position where he can show his potential and then get better and better. Let’s see.”

Tuchel said the Carabao Cup tie against Southampton on Tuesday night could provide Saúl Ñíguez with a chance to ignite his Chelsea career. The midfielder has made only three appearances since joining on a season’s loan from Atlético Madrid and is in contention to start.

“These are the moments, in the Carabao Cup, to give some players some minutes,” Tuchel said. “Still, it needs to make sense and we need to be fair to the players in his position. Do we have his position available? That position where he can show his potential and then get better and better? Let’s see.”

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