Date:20th April 2022 at 5:30pm
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Chelsea host Arsenal on Wednesday evening, looking to further cement a place in the Champions League places. 

The Blues sit third in the Premier League at the moment and have games in hand on the four sides below them, meaning that qualification for next season’s competition looks almost certain.

Thomas Tuchel’s side will still be looking to impress against the Gunners, though, and the German could make a number of changes to his side ahead of the match.

The likes of Trevoh Chalobah and Hakim Ziyech, both of whom have fallen slightly out of favour of late, could return to the starting line up, while N’Golo Kante could return to the starting line up in place of the injured Mateo Kovacic.

Antonio Rudiger is another player who could be rested for the match, having started 28 of the Blues’ 30 league matches so far this campaign, more than any of his teammates.

The German has been a regular in defence, but speculation has been building around his future, with his contract set to expire in the summer.

Soccer Football – Champions League – Quarter Final – Second Leg – Real Madrid v Chelsea – Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid, Spain – April 12, 2022 Chelsea’s Antonio Rudiger looks dejected after the match Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs

Fellow defenders Thiago Silva and Cesar Azpilicueta have already penned 12-month extensions, while Andreas Christensen appears to have snubbed offers and will leave the club at the end of the season.

Rudiger hasn’t yet committed to a decision, though, and now Barcelona and Real Madrid have become the latest clubs to be linked with the German international.

As per The Athletic, the two La Liga giants are both interested in the player, who has played 47 matches across all competitions so far this term.

Barcelona were interested in Azpilicueta before his one year extension was triggered, and they are reported to have already agreed terms with Christensen.

It appears that Rudiger is unlikely to follow his teammate to Catalunya, though, as the report states that the player remains intent on staying put in West London.

The player is believed to prefer an extension, but has already declined two offers from the club and is seeking a pay increase that would put him level with the likes of Kante.

The 29-year-old currently earns around £90,000-per-week, but feels he deserves closer to the £220,000-per-week that Kante earns.

Rudiger has set Chelsea a deadline of the end of April to offer him improved terms.

 
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