Chelsea contract rebel Antonio Rudiger has conceded he is ‘honoured’ to be linked with German giants Bayern Munich, with talks over a new deal at Stamford Bridge at an impasse.
Rudiger’s current terms expire in 2022 and the 28-year-old wants to become one of the Blues’ highest-paid players if he is to commit his future to the club.
The Germany international feels his form since Thomas Tuchel’s arrival in the Chelsea dugout in January warrants a significant pay rise to around the £300,000-per-week mark – similar to what Timo Werner and Romelu Lukaku earn in west London.
However, in the past year Chelsea have only offered Rudiger a small increase in salary some way short of the defender’s expectations. With talks at a standstill and the player open-minded about his future, some of Europe’s biggest clubs have started to circle.
90min understands that Bayern and Paris Saint-Germain are currently the leading contenders to land the centre-back on a free transfer next year, and Rudiger was asked directly about Die Roten’s interest in taking him back to his homeland during a press conference while away on international duty.
“Of course, I’m honoured by [Bayern’s interest] and it proves that I’ve been doing things right,” Rudiger admitted in a press conference. “But I won’t let myself become distracted.
“I have an obligation to my club to perform well. I have to prove myself in every game and not let myself be distracted by rumours.
“I feel good at Chelsea where I am now, so that suits me.”
The comments about Bayern’s reported interest will not please Tuchel, who is desperate for Rudiger to remain at Stamford Bridge and has made it clear to the club’s hierarchy that tying him down should be a priority.
The defender’s strong form has continued into 2021/22, helping Chelsea to four clean sheets in seven league games so far as well as scoring a fine goal against Tottenham in September.