Chelsea are waiting on Antonio Rudiger’s contract decision as he weighs up his options before committing to an extended stay at Stamford Bridge.
It is understood the player wants to look at options ahead of next summer, when his contract expires, with sources indicating there is already some early interest from Paris Saint-Germain.
It’s an interesting twist on the situation at a time when Chelsea have opened talks with him and Andreas Christensen over new terms.
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Rudiger earns around £130,000-a-week but wants that to be propelled towards £200,000-a-week and at the moment Chelsea do not seem willing to go quite as high as he would like - leading him to question where his future may lie.
His open mind would back up the reasoning behind Chelsea’s pursuit of Jules Kounde this summer.
No new centre back arrived at the club but sources indicate that is because they were not in a rush to sign someone for the role and instead were looking at long-term planning - and simply spotted a good opportunity in Kounde.
He remains on the list for next year as Chelsea look to keep their back line strong and fear Rudiger may look to leave.

Rudiger's future is unclear

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They are trying to make this squad storm proof by solving potential problems before they arise and getting Kounde in now would have showed they could cope with the loss of one a key player.
Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel is very keen for Rudiger to stay at Chelsea and is believed to have indicated he wants the situation to be resolved as a priority.

Big guns set for Rice battle

Declan Rice is expected to become the centre of a three-way tussle next summer as Manchester City and Manchester United rejoin the race to sign him.
Chelsea were seen as the side most likely to agree a transfer for him this summer and the player himself was open to returning to the club he grew up at, sources indicated.
Yet West Ham’s £100million valuation and the focus on Romelu Lukaku took some attention away from Rice and Chelsea also worked on a deal for Saul Niguez, which they knew could open up late on as an easy midfield move to complete.
Chelsea have an option to complete the Saul signing on a permanent basis at the end of the season but are also still keeping tabs on Borussia Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham and - to a slightly lesser extent - Monaco’s Aurelien Tchouameni.

Rice remains a man in demand

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The door will now open for the Manchester clubs to make their case to Rice and his representatives ahead of summer 2022 - while Liverpool may also yet look to get involved.
Indications from early this summer assured officials at all three northern clubs that Rice did have his mind open to leaving London if the right opportunity arose.
City did not pursue a deal though and United decided against it after learning of the personal terms it would have taken on top of his huge transfer fee.
Rice has lofty ambitions and expectations for his career and this is highly likely to be his final season at West Ham.

Richarlison on PSG radar

PSG remain keen on a deal for Everton’s Richarlison for next year.
His representatives were in the French capital last week for talks over a potential move and while he was touted as a Kylian Mbappe replacement they always knew it would be a tough situation to unfold in time for deadline day.
Mbappe stayed at PSG and Richarlison remains at Everton for now - yet both cases are likely to change in 2022.

Richarlison could be on his way to Paris

Image credit: Getty Images

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