Thomas Tuchel urges Andreas Christensen to sign for Chelsea
Thomas Tuchel has urged Andreas Christensen not to desert Chelsea before the ‘decisive moment’ of his career at Stamford Bridge.
Barcelona are said to be confident of striking a deal to land Christensen away from Chelsea on a free contract this summer.
Tuchel had revealed in November that Chelsea expected Danish defender Christensen to complete further terms to stay in west London.
But now the 25-year-old is set to end his 13-year association with the Blues, having come through the vaunted academy.
Tuchel has now accepted doubts over Christensen’s future but then quickly insisted the 54-cap centre-back would give up a major chance to make history at Stamford Bridge if he leaves this summer .
“I think it’s a crucial moment in his career at Chelsea right now,” Tuchel said.
“I think that’s a crucial point where he has his chance, at the perfect age and at the perfect time, in terms of the situation, the system we’re playing, the guys playing alongside him.
“Given all these circumstances, for me this is the defining moment for him to rise up and be a huge Chelsea player for the next few years.
“If he decides otherwise, I won’t take it personally and it’s – ultimately – not important whether I understand it or not.
“But I will treat him as my player until the very last day, if he behaves as he behaved.”
Chelsea boss Tuchel has admitted the Blues hierarchy’s frustrations with Christensen’s new position, given that the club expected him to sign a new contract at the end of last year.
The German coach insisted, however, that Chelsea retain a positive relationship with the defender and that he will remain an integral part of the roster regardless of his long-term future.
Asked about Christensen’s situation, Tuchel replied: “Well it’s in doubt. We hear the rumors and the situation with Andreas has also been clear for several weeks. And we’re not happy about it.
“Because we, me, me personally and the representatives of the club, we think it’s better for him to stay – and we’re counting on him a lot.
“He hasn’t signed yet, so you can’t not communicate. It’s also a signal for us.
“And the communication from his side is that he hasn’t signed so far.
“So we have to consider the possibility of him leaving us.
“Are we going to like it? No. Will we live with it? Yes.
“Things are not personal, should never, ever be personal. But it can happen.
“But I don’t have any other information. Not even information that I don’t want to share, just no information at all.
“These things happen and I try and normally it’s the best thing to not take it personally when things like that happen.
“He is still our player and we will do what is best for us until his contract expires.
“He’s a Chelsea player – that’s the point – and he knows we value him a lot.”