Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has addressed the media ahead of his side’s trip to Norwich on Thursday night, weighing in on links between Andreas Christensen and a move away from the club.
Rumours suggesting the 25-year-old is on the verge of signing a pre-contract agreement with Barcelona have surfaced in recent days, with Fabrizio Romano reporting it is a “matter of time”.
Christensen’s current contract – signed in 2018 – is set to expire June this year leaving the West-London side helpless regarding the player’s capability to entertain offers elsewhere.
The rumours of an exit began last summer with the club wanting an extension reached back then already. Despite the Blues maintaining their confidence he will sign a new deal with the club, it was however the beginning of the contract standoff.
Since then it’s been Bayern Munich and Barcelona the two predominantly mentioned destinations, with Barca always said to be ahead of the pack in the race to sign Christensen.
Thomas Tuchel puts call out to Christensen
“We hear the rumours with Andreas and it’s been like this for many months,” Tuchel said as quoted by Chelsea.
"“He has not signed yet so we can’t communicate anything. We are not happy about it and personally and the club representatives think it’s best for him to stay here. We rely heavily on him.”"
The Danish central defender isn’t the only of Chelsea’s contract rebels to be linked with a move to Catalunya, with long-standing servant César Azpilicueta also reportedly on Xavi’s wish list.
"“We have to consider the possibility that he may leave us. Will we like that? No. Will we live with it? Yes.”"
"“If things happen, it’s normally the best thing not to take them personally. He is still our player and we will do what is best for us while he is a Chelsea player.”"
Christensen has seen his playing time limited this season due to a series of niggling injuries but remains at the forefront of Tuchel’s plans.
"“He knows we appreciate him a lot and I think it’s a crucial point in his Chelsea career; he is in a perfect age and perfect moment with the system we play and the guys at his side."
"“I think it’s the decisive moment to step up and be a huge player for Chelsea in the next years. If he decides otherwise, I will not take it personally.”"
The Chelsea faithful will be hopeful Tuchel’s rousing comments will lead Christensen to think twice before exiting the club he has been with since 2012.