Former Chelsea defender Robert Huth has hinted that his former side should give in to Antonio Rudiger’s contract demands if they have to pay more to replace him.
The Blues defender is out of contract next summer but has turned down a new deal worth around £125,000 from the European champions.
The two parties though appear to be way off in terms of agreeing a salary, with reports suggesting the German international wants as much as £400,000 per week – which would be £50,000 more than striker Romelu Lukaku.
However Huth believes Chelsea should at least consider an improved offer to keep Rudiger at the club, with the cost in finding a replacement just as good could prove to be financially worse off for the Blues.
‘From a Chelsea point of view, do you give Antonio Rudiger what he wants and consider how much it would cost Chelsea to replace him?’ Huth told BonusCode Bets.
Rudiger’s leverage comes with reported interest from Real Madrid, who are still looking to replace Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane after their summer departures, and will look to open negotiations over a free transfer in January ahead of next season.
Bayern Munich are also in the hunt for Rudiger, whose form has turned around under Thomas Tuchel having previously been frozen out under previous boss Frank Lampard.
Huth believes Chelsea would have to pay as much as £50million to replace the defender.
‘When Lampard was in charge, it didn’t look like he was going to turn it around as well as he has done,’ Huth added.
‘He’s been absolutely brilliant. In reality, what would it cost to replace him? It’ll probably cost around £40-50 million to replace him.
‘They know what he can do and he’s been performing well. It’s a good position for Antonio to be in terms of negotiations because all the top clubs in Europe will be looking at him.’
Rudiger was previously asked to comment on the rumours suggesting he was on Bayern Munich’s radar. The defender said he was ‘honoured’ to be linked with the Bavarian giants but remained committed to Chelsea.
‘Of course (Bayern’s interest) honours me and proves that I’ve been doing things right,’ he said. ‘But I don’t let myself be distracted.
‘I have an obligation to my club to perform well. I have to prove myself every game and not let myself be distracted by rumours. I make my decisions for myself. They don’t depend on anyone. I feel good where I am.’