Thomas Tuchel warns Andreas Christensen it could be a mistake to leave Chelsea as Danish defender prepares to join Barcelona this summer on a free transfer when his contract expires
- Andreas Christensen is set to sign for Barcelona when his Chelsea deal expires
- Danish defender reportedly completed his medical with them earlier this week
- Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel admitted he wanted Christensen to stay
- Tuchel believed the defender could step up and become a senior player
Thomas Tuchel fears he is losing the fight to keep Andreas Christensen and warned the Dane it could mistake to leave when he is poised to become a Chelsea legend.
Christensen’s contract expires at the end of the season and appears set for a switch to Barcelona.
But Tuchel, who admits silence from the player’s camp speaks volumes, believes the 25-year-old will find no better home than at Stamford Bridge with the world and European champions.
Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has admitted he wanted Andreas Christensen to stay at the club beyond the summer but the defender is set to sign for Barcelona
Christensen reportedly completed his medical this week ahead of moving to Barcelona
‘There cannot be a big improvement in any club in terms of organisation, the support level for players, the mentality or the competition in which you play,’ said Chelsea’s head coach. ‘I don’t see an upgrade in any other club.
‘If you want the challenge of a new league, and maybe also in the money there are possibilities available if you’re a top-top player but you can fulfil any dream here, and we should not hide from that or be too humble.
‘We can fight for any player and can provide good reasons for players to stay.’
Christensen joined Chelsea’s academy from Brondby, 10 years ago, and, although it has taken him time to become established he is learning his craft alongside defensive icons such as Thiago Silva.
‘It is a crucial point in his career,’ said Tuchel. ‘The perfect age and the perfect situation regarding the position he plays and the guys at his side. Considering all this, it is the decisive moment for him to step up and be a huge Chelsea player for the next years.
Tuchel said he plans to make full use of the defender in his side before he departs
Premier League unless stated
Thursday Norwich City (A)
Sunday Newcastle United (H)
March 16 Lille (A)
Champions League last-16, second leg
March 19 Middlesbrough (A)
FA Cup quarter-final
April 2 Brentford (H)
April 9 Southampton (A)
‘He did not sign yet and this is a signal to us. We have to consider the possibility he leaves us. Will we like it? No. Will we live with it? Yes.’
Antonio Rudiger and Azpilicueta are also out of contract in June, although Azpilicueta’s contract contains an option for one more year.
A free is lucrative for players because what would have been a transfer fee is effectively absorbed within the salary and despite Chelsea paying some of the biggest wages in the Premier League they do not want to disrupt the pay structure.
‘If players run out of contract these days there is sometimes a package of money we cannot match and, if we match it, it has an effect on every other player,’ said Tuchel. ‘It’s very important the club draws a line to not be totally in the hands of whoever wishes for whatever. We should be strong on it.’
Perhaps it does not help to have owner Roman Abramovich in the midst of selling the club, with bids invited to be made before a deadline on Tuesday and the asking price thought to be around £3billion.
‘Clarity is always better than uncertainty,’ said Tuchel. ‘We have produced performances and results in times of global uncertainty and also club-wise uncertainty. That makes us proud and shows we can trust in ourselves.’
The next challenge is on Thursday night at Norwich. Chelsea will be without Reece James, who has suffered a muscular to three games in seven days after two months out with an ankle injury. ‘A set-back for sure,’ said Tuchel. ‘I hope not a big one.’
Chelsea, meanwhile, have been given the green light from authorities in France for all their players to travel to next week’s Champions League tie at Lille.
The Danish defender has been with Chelsea for a decade, having signed to their academy