Chelsea’s delay over agreeing a new contract for Antonio Rudiger could end up costing them an extra £40,000-per-week when negotiations resume.
The German centre-back earns around £140,000 per week at Stamford Bridge and in March, when talks were ongoing over an extension to his deal, he was looking for a £20,000 weekly pay rise.
Talks were then pushed back by the club but Thomas Tuchel has been assuring the Chelsea board that Rudiger is an important part of his framework going forward and is keen for them to tie him down to new terms.
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It is now understood the player and his representatives realise they are now in a strong position of negotiation and could push for a figure closer to £200,000 per week.
After winning the Champions League in May, Rudiger made it clear he wanted a little time to think about how he would move forward in his career, with his current contract set to expire in 2022.
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The player does want to stay and is excited by the club’s prospects under Tuchel - but wants to be appreciated and feels that has not always been the case during his time in London.
Chelsea are considering another defender in this window, too, and are being kept in touch with Rafael Varane’s situation at Real Madrid.
He has still not signed new terms but, like Manchester United, Chelsea are not completely convinced he would actually leave for a Premier League club. United are continuing their discussions just in case a deal can be agreed, but are more likely to sign Pau Torres.
Chelsea, similarly, have other names on their list - though they are not all thought to be quite in the same tier as French international Varane. The Blues are exploring other talent to give them versatility across the back line.
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COMPETITION FOR ABRAHAM'S SIGNATURE
Aston Villa’s ambition is to be taken seriously this summer as they attempt to put together an exciting new attack.
Their pursuit of Chelsea’s Tammy Abraham comes at a time when they know there is not too much genuine competition for his signature. West Ham are very interested but his £40million price-tag is beyond their £30million budget.
Meanwhile bids for Arsenal’s Emile Smith Rowe come at a time when they have spotted an opportunity to take advantage of his contract situation at Arsenal. They are trying to sell him a vision of being an integral part of an exciting, young attacking front four that would also include Jack Grealish, Emi Buendia and Ollie Watkins - as well as Abraham, potentially.
If they fail to sign Smith Rowe, other top targets with Premier League experience are already being worked on.
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Villa know they will have their work cut out to keep hold of Grealish - though they will try their hardest. They only plan to let him go if Manchester City come in with an offer of at least £90million, which would set a new British transfer record.
Paul Pogba’s £89million deal from Juventus to Manchester United is currently the most any Premier League side have ever paid out for a player and to top that figure would give Villa some satisfaction that they have at least let the player go at top dollar.
Villa will continue to show ambition in targets for the rest of this transfer window with a defensive midfielder also a priority.
A POTENTIAL AUSSIE REUNION AT CELTIC
Celtic’s new boss Ange Postecoglou is keen for the club to pursue a deal for Aaron Mooy.
Mooy, 30, is currently playing in China for Shanghai SIPG and Postecoglou has asked Celtic’s recruitment team to prioritise him as a midfield target this summer.
Celtic have also been looking into a deal for Everton’s James McCarthy but that could be put on the back burner while the situation of Australian Mooy’s situation is explored.
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