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Antonio Rudiger and Cesar Azpilicueta among 5 Chelsea stars now set to leave as Roman Abramovich is hit by sanctions
By on March 10th, 2022. NEWS

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A number of key first-team players are set to depart Chelsea this summer after owner Roman Abramovich was sanctioned by the UK Government on Thursday morning March 10. 

The club’s captain Cesar Azpilicueta and central defenders Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen, whose contracts are set to expire this summer, are the players expected to leave. 

Abramovich was one of seven oligarchs to be hit with an asset freeze, after announcing plans to sell the club. He has now been deprived of any profits, however, with the club also banned from selling match tickets or signing new players moving forward. 

The announcement means,  25-year-old midfielder Charly Musonda Jr will depart when his contract expires this summer, alongside loanee Saul Niguez, as Chelsea will be unable to activate the existing option to buy for the Atletico Madrid star. 

Azpilicueta, Rudiger, and Christensen had been heavily linked with exits prior to the sanction, and it looks certain they will all leave, 

Rudiger, 29, has been linked with Manchester United, Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain, and Newcastle of late, despite previously refusing to rule out the possibility he could extend his contract. 

Spanish giants, Barcelona are interested in snapping up Christensen and Azpilicueta on free transfers this summer, with Tuchel last week admitting he was fearful key members of his squad could depart. 

‘The bottom line is maybe we can’t help it – it is what it is,’ Tuchel said. ‘You never know maybe it has a positive effect on the negotiations or maybe it has a negative effect.

‘We cannot predict and I would like not to predict on scenarios because you just lose focus, but everyone has a different situation and feels different about it (the sale).

‘I hope for the best outcome still, I think we have something to offer still. Chelsea are a strong club and will stay a strong club.’ 

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