Chelsea reveal stance on Antonio Rudiger and free agent players amid Man United interest


Chelsea technical and performance advisor Petr Cech has admitted that the west London club does not know if they will be able to offer contracts to players whose deals are set to expire at the end of this season.

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich was placed under a series of strict sanctions by the UK government on Thursday as they continue to crack down on wealthy Russians with assets within the UK. The move came just two weeks after Russia invaded neighbouring Ukraine.

It means that Abramovich’s assets have been frozen under the move and he faces tough measures on transactions in the UK with both individuals and businesses. Therefore, Chelsea are currently banned from selling tickets and merchandise, signing new players, selling players, offering new contracts to players and staff and are limited to spending just £20,000 on travelling to and from fixtures.

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So with four first-team players out-of-contract in the summer — including Manchester United target Antonio Rudiger — Chelsea face great levels of uncertainty about the futures of members of the squad. The current sanctions in place are set to be in operation until May 31, but what might happen beyond that date is not yet certain.

Nevertheless, Chelsea run the risk of losing the likes of Cesar Azpilicueta, Andreas Christensen and Rudiger for free. As things stand, the Blues are unsure about what the future could hold for the trio, as Cech admitted.

“That is something we do not know at the moment, and that is why the conversations are going on,” he told Sky Sports, addressing the futures of those out-of-contract in the summer.

“We would like to know these answers as soon as possible so we know how we can operate with the team going forward.

“Unfortunately, as I already said, we go day by day and need to, at the moment, listen to the advice given to us by the government.”

United are keen to land Rudiger on a free transfer this summer as they look to strengthen their central-defensive options at the end of the season. His career has been revitalised at Stamford Bridge under head coach Thomas Tuchel and he has, arguably, been one of the best centre-backs in the Premier League over the last 12 months or so.

Joining Chelsea in 2017 from Roma, the German has racked up 188 appearances for the club, scoring 10 goals. He has also registered seven assists.

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