Thomas Tuchel has said he hopes dropping Andreas Christensen will convince the centre-back to extend his contract with Chelsea.
Christensen’s contract expires at the end of the season, and his future with Chelsea is in doubt after negotiations over an extension hit a stumbling block. The European champions thought a four-year deal with a one-year option was on the verge of agreeing, only for discussions regarding the length and terms of the contract to reach an impasse.
Chelsea recently returned with a three-year deal offer, which they thought Christensen would sign, but frustration is growing after talks have stalled again. The Denmark international has not played for Chelsea since November 6, and Tuchel, who knows the 25-year-old would be free to talk to foreign clubs about a pre-contract agreement from January 1, dismissed suggestions that his bench position would hurt negotiations.
“No, on the contrary,” said the Chelsea coach. “Hopefully it will affect the contract situation a little bit. I understood it was a matter of a very short period before we had good news. As I understood, the club wants the same thing, the player wants the same thing, the coach wants the same thing: to stay. That’s why we need commitment and after So we can continue.”
Tuchel, who could bring in Christensen when he visits the Premier League leaders Watford on Wednesday night, said he does not expect a breakthrough soon.
“I don’t have good news,” he said. “That was what I understood weeks ago – that Andreas wants the same thing as me, that he wants the same thing as the club, which is why for me the situation was not a problem because everyone wanted the same thing as much as I understood. But we are waiting a long time now for confirmation.
“It’s on Andreas to work. How he behaves on the pitch, he needs to act away and move on because he tells us he loves Chelsea. He tells us he wants to stay because he is a big part of a big club. I think he’s quite fit and I think he’s not over here. His career is here. It’s, by far, not over. But, like I said, it’s on it. We want commitment and hopefully we’ll get it.”
Chelsea, who also needs to arrange new deals for César Azpilicueta, Antonio Rüdiger and Thiago Silva, have fitness concerns in midfield – N’Golo Kanté and Mateo Kovacic outside and Jorginho questionable.
Saul Niguez, who has not played in the Premier League since a difficult debut against Aston Villa on September 11, could field Ruben Loftus-Cheek if Jorginho misses. The Spanish midfielder has struggled since joining on loan from Atletico Madrid, but Tuchel denied Spanish reports claiming Chelsea signed the 27-year-old as a favor for the player’s agent.
Club signature? German said. “We don’t do that. So far we haven’t done signings with clubs and coaches. We do signings because we decided together because we think it’s a good choice and a good addition to the team, and that was exactly the case.”