Antonio Rudiger

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has given an insight into the mood at the club with recent news that defender Antonio Rudiger is set to leave the club this summer. 

The 29-year-old’s current deal at Stamford Bridge expires at the end of the season and has made a choice not to renew the terms.

He is reportedly close to joining Spanish giants, Real Madrid, having had a verbal agreement in place.

Speaking ahead of Thursday night’s Premier League clash at Manchester United, Tuchel revealed the mood at the club has been far from good in the past few days.

“I don’t think anybody likes it. Toni is a huge factor in our last one-and-a-half seasons together. He gives everybody confidence in the dressing room. He is a unique character, an aggressive leader. He plays on an outstanding level. He loves responsibility.

“We have to accept it, and we will accept it. There will be life at Chelsea after Toni. Now the most important thing is it ends like it has been for the last one-and-a-half years, on the highest level possible,”

His departure means the club will be searching for a replacement, and Tuchel stressed he was confident of raising the level of any incoming defenders.

“I will try to push the squad to the limit. It was a pleasure every day with Toni. We have still big things to achieve. From pre-season next season life will go on, if we like it or not, and we will give our very best. I will be fully involved with all my heart and all my knowledge,”

The German international missed the 4-2 loss to Arsenal last week and is a doubt for Thursday night’s clash at Old Trafford.

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