Thomas Tuchel has opened up on the reaction to the news that Antonio Rudiger will leave Chelsea at the end of the season.
Rudiger will leave Chelsea when his contract expires at the end of the campaign with the centre-back having agreed a deal to sign for Real Madrid on a free transfer.
The Germany international has been an integral part of the club’s recent success under Tuchel and the Chelsea boss admits his decision to leave is one that has disappointed the squad at Stamford Bridge.
“I don’t think anybody likes it. He gives everybody confidence in the dressing room. He is a unique character and plays on an outstanding level. He sometimes takes the focus towards him, he loves responsibility,” Tuchel told his pre-match press conference ahead of the trip to Manchester United on Thursday.
“I don’t think anybody likes this decision but we have to accept it. Like it or not there will be life at Chelsea after Toni. It is also the most important thing for us that it ends like it started, on the highest level.
Tuchel was asked how he will deal with the defender’s exit and says he remains confident that Chelsea can continue to be competitive with the squad at his disposal.
“Yes, and it is my job. No matter how the situation is solved and how active we can be in the transfer market, at the end we will dig in and we will try to squeeze out everything from the squad that we have.
“I will fall in love with the squad I have then and push it to the limit. It was a pleasure every single day with Toni, I am concerned that we have talked too much about it in the past because there are still big things to achieve.
“From pre-season next season, life will go on whether we are happy about it or not and I will be fully involved with all my heart and all my knowledge.”