Toni Rudiger: Thomas Tuchel kept me at Chelsea last January

Chelsea centre-back Antonio Rudiger has said that he is not rushing into signing a new contract with the Blues, as it will be “the most important decision” of his career.

Antonio Rudiger has talked up the role that Thomas Tuchel played in keeping him at Chelsea at the start of 2021.

The Germany international had spent long periods out of the starting lineup before Tuchel was brought in as a replacement for Frank Lampard.

Despite establishing himself as a key player at Stamford Bridge, the 28-year-old is still to extend his contract past the end of 2021-22.

Nevertheless, speaking to Sky Sports News, Rudiger has spoken about the influence of the Blues head coach last January.

The center-back said: “Yeah [I was close to leaving], the way things were going for myself but also for the team, but in the winter period, I was not keen to leave, to be honest. It was more in the summer period where I wanted to leave.

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“But Thomas Tuchel came and the rest is history. He opened a new door, he played a big role.”

Tuchel hinted on Thursday that he was prepared to remain ‘patient’ as Chelsea attempted to agree on a new contract with Rudiger, who can speak to foreign clubs in just over two weeks’ time.

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