Barcelona confirm they have held talks with Antonio Rudiger’s agent – but they deny discussing the Chelsea defender after he confirmed his departure on a free transfer this summer
- Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel confirmed Antonio Rudiger will leave the club
- The German’s contract expires this summer and he has opted not to renew
- Real Madrid, Manchester United and Barcelona are all interested in Rudiger
- Barca director of football Mateu Alemany confirmed talks with his agent
Barcelona have held talks with Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger’s agent but deny a free transfer move was discussed between the two parties.
German centre back Rudiger’s contract at Stamford Bridge expires at the end of the season and Blues boss Thomas Tuchel confirmed on Sunday that the defender will depart in the summer.
Real Madrid, Man United and Barcelona are the early reported frontrunners for Rudiger’s signature and Barca director of football Mateu Alemany revealed he has spoken with Rudiger’s agent, namely Saif Rubie, but not about the Chelsea star.
Barcelona have held talks with Antonio Rudiger’s agent but deny a move was discussed (pic left: Barca director of football Mateu Alemany)
Alemany told Spanish outlet Movistar+: ‘We had a meeting with his agent but we didn’t talk about that situation.
‘Agents represent more than one player and that could lead to confusion. Also, it’s not our custom to talk about contracted players so we can’t help.
‘Now is not the time to think about [next season]. We work in all positions and, at the end of the whole season, we will talk to the coach and make decisions based on the market.’
Rudiger will leave Chelsea this summer after failing to agree a new contract at the club
Tuchel, whose side beat West Ham on Sunday via a late Christian Pulisic winner, confirmed that Rudiger would be leaving this summer.
Government sanctions left the club with their ‘hands tied’, with Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus also all in talks with the German.
Tuchel insisted Chelsea would ‘find solutions’ but conceded that signing another player of that calibre would be tough, even without sanctions.
Thomas Tuchel insisted Chelsea could not have done any more to try and keep Rudiger
‘Even then it will be incredibly difficult because Toni is a big personality, a big leader and he takes fear away from other people,’ said Tuchel.
‘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.’
Rudiger, 29, missed Sunday’s victory through injury, with Pulisic’s 90th-minute winner securing all three points after Jorginho’s late penalty miss.