Thomas Tuchel wants Andreas Christensen to seize his chance to become Chelsea’s “big name player”, ignoring growing speculation that he will leave Stamford Bridge.

Christensen, whose contract is due to expire this summer, has so far rejected the Blues’ offer for a new contract, with the 25-year-old, who has been linked with Barcelona, ​​and has reportedly been swayed if he fails to do so after this season. As a free agent, they would love to sign the Denmark international. this season.

Tuchel insisted the club would weather Christensen’s departure but hoped that wouldn’t be the case, again calling on the centre-back to dedicate his long-term future to the European champions and to make the most of the platform Chelsea provided.

“have a question [whether he stays]we heard the rumours,” the Chelsea boss said. “Andreas’ situation has been going on for several weeks and we’re not happy about it because we – the club representatives and I – think it’s best for him to stay. , we are very dependent on him.

“He hasn’t signed yet, so you have to communicate, that’s a signal to us, and the communication from him is that he hasn’t signed yet.

“We have to think about the possibility of him leaving us. Will we like it? No. Will we live with it? Yes. Things are not private, they should never be, it could happen, but I don’t have any more information on me I don’t know if I don’t want to share.”

‘A pivotal moment in Christensen’s Chelsea career’

Andreas Christensen linked with Barcelona

Asked if reports of Christensen’s free transfer to Barcelona in the summer could affect his first-team chances for the rest of the season, Tuchel added: “I don’t think so. If something happens, I try not to take things to heart. .

“He’s still our player; we’ll do what is best for us until his contract expires. He’s a Chelsea player and that’s the point. He knows we’re very grateful to him.”

“I think that’s the key point of his Chelsea career. With all of these things in mind, it’s the key point that he’s at the perfect age, the perfect moment, the system we play, the players who play next to him, it’s the key point that he’s in A defining moment for coming out as a great Chelsea player for years to come.

“If he decides otherwise, I won’t take it personally – it doesn’t matter whether I understand him or not – but I’ll keep him as my player until the last day.”

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Sky Sports News’ Kaveh Solhekol provides an update on the parties believed to be interested in a bid for Chelsea from current boss Roman Abramovich.

Tuchel’s defensive headache off the pitch was reflected in his confirmation that full-back Reece James had missed training with a muscle strain ahead of Thursday’s Premier League trip to Norwich City.

James has just recovered from a hamstring injury that will keep him out of Chelsea’s first 12 games of 2022.

The 22-year-old, who scored and assisted in Saturday’s 4-0 win over Burnley for the first time since December, has not suffered the same hamstring injury again, but Tuchel revealed the initial prognosis was not Okay.

“Everyone was on the training pitch today, except of course Ben Chilwell and Reece James who had some muscle issues after three games,” Tuchel added. “It wasn’t his injured leg, it was the other leg.

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Watch for free: Highlights from Chelsea’s Premier League win over Burnley.

“We thought he might be on the field today, but he couldn’t, so we need to check further to see what’s going on. Reese felt it during the game [at Burnley]that’s why we took him out – it didn’t get better.

“We are concerned, but we still need more details and information. There will be further checks today. It’s clear what he’s bringing to our team and what he can bring to our team. It’s not good news at the moment. It’s definitely a A setback, I hope it’s not a big deal.”

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