Thomas Tuchel defends handling of Andreas Christensen contract saga

The defender appeared close to signing a new deal with Chelsea before an apparent change of mind

Nick Purewal
Tuesday 05 April 2022 17:15
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<p>The defender appeared close to signing a new deal with Chelsea before an apparent change of mind</p>

The defender appeared close to signing a new deal with Chelsea before an apparent change of mind

Thomas Tuchel insists his public efforts to try to convince Andreas Christensen to sign a new Chelsea deal did not backfire.

Denmark defender Christensen is understood to be on the brink of completing a free-transfer move to Barcelona this summer.

Christensen appeared close to completing terms on a new Chelsea contract in November, with Tuchel even challenging the 25-year-old to commit to the Stamford Bridge club in order to fulfil his rich potential.

Christensen changed agents in December however, and the arrival of new advisers ushered in an apparent change of heart on his long-term future.

Barcelona expect to take Christensen to the Nou Camp in the summer, with Chelsea boss Tuchel insisting any decision from the Denmark star must be respected.

Tuchel was also adamant that Christensen will continue to give his all for Chelsea, starting with Wednesday’s Champions League quarter-final first leg against Real Madrid.

Asked if public overtures towards Christensen might have unwittingly worked against Chelsea, Tuchel replied: “The situation of the club was pretty sure. I think I gave you an honest statement that he is in exactly the right place for his journey.

“That he could continue with this club and become the defender that he can be, the real personality and the playing minutes figure that he wants to be.

“In my opinion, he shouldn’t forget where he comes from, where his eduction comes from, where is home and that’s just my opinion.

“He needs that kind of environment to bring the best out of him. That’s just my opinion and I gave it some weeks ago but the talks in autumn and the summer were constant talks.

“We are in (an) exchange with our players of course. I hope that my talks didn’t make him want to leave but I don’t think so.

“You cannot take these things personally. If he decides to take his career elsewhere, it is his decision. We understand it and we don’t need to agree.

“We will not take it personally. As long as he is our player, he is our player and I will not stop demanding from him.

“He needs to be fully, fully committed, this is what we expect and have experienced. You will have to ask him about his decision and what the reasons are for his decision.”

Christensen has been at Chelsea since 2013, with the 54-cap Denmark star finally realising his rich promise having graduated from the club’s much-vaunted academy.

Tuchel conceded Christensen’s contract situation may add extra complications for his current Chelsea situation, but insisted the centre-back will cope without issue.

“I don’t have any concerns, but maybe it is a bit more challenging for him than normal,” said Tuchel. “Maybe he cleared his future; I don’t know it yet.

“But for me it was very clear when I started, and the bottom line in conversations I had with him was that ‘as long as you’re my player I expect you to be 100 per cent committed and I will not accept anything less’.

“And I will not start digging into how committed is he now, this only leads to distraction. This is what I demand from him. He is our player and we want to have the most of him.

“He needs to be focused, he needs to be determined, and this is what we expect from him. And I think it is what we can expect from him.”

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