Rudiger reveals how close he was to leaving Chelsea and hopes for new contract

Rudiger was out of the favour at the start of the campaign, finding himself as our fifth-choice centre-back and not in the matchday squad for the fixtures against Liverpool, West Brom or Crystal Palace.

At a press conference this afternoon ahead of our Champions League meeting with Atletico Madrid tomorrow, the German was asked just how near he was to departing Stamford Bridge before the transfer window shut belatedly in October.

‘I was close,’ Rudiger replied.

‘Some things I saw coming, but not being in the squad I didn’t see coming. I took it on the chin. There was one team I was considering, that was PSG, and also there was Mourinho, but this didn’t happen, and with Tuchel also the same didn’t happen, so I was a bit upset because I knew with my situation I would not play that often.

‘I had a talk with Lampard and I was back on the bench, I had a couple of games and I worked my way back. The last games of his reign I was on the pitch. Now, things are going well for me, I am very happy about it.

‘I always felt well in the club, they treated me nice, nobody told from upstairs, the board, that I should leave, nor did Frank Lampard.’