Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger has revealed that he had contact with both Tottenham and Jose Mourinho over a move to north London.
Falling out of favour at Stamford Bridge under Frank Lampard, it appeared that the German international would be on his way out of the club in his quest to play regularly ahead of Euro 2020.
Amid talk of a switch to either Paris Saint-Germain or Tottenham, Rudiger instead remained in SW6 with a transfer exit not coming to fruition.
Barely involved in the first half of the season in the league as he mainly took his place on the bench, things started to look brighter for the 28-year-old just prior to Lampard’s dismissal before new boss Thomas Tuchel immediately restored him to his defence.
Now a Chelsea regular and in the Germany squad for the Euros, the centre-back has opened up on how close he came to leaving the Champions League finalists amid those links with Tottenham.
“I was really about to leave. It was the start of a season with a European Championship at the end, and then I felt it was my duty, towards DFB, to look for alternatives so that I got enough playing time,” he told German publication Kicker, as reported by Sport Witness.
“PSG and Thomas Tuchel [who was at PSG last summer] were the most serious option. I also had contact with Tottenham Hotspur and José Mourinho, whom I really appreciate as a coach.
“In the end, that was out of the question. In the end, with other options, I ran out of time to clarify all the details.”
With Mourinho set to return to management this summer with Roma, Rudiger has been linked with a move back to his former club.
On talk of a summer switch to the Italian side, he said: “I always hold back on rumours… But let’s go back to last summer: It really wasn’t easy for me. I wanted to work hard, ‘work in silence’, as the English say, in peace, and wait for my chance. It was a very difficult time for me.”
“I wasn’t even in the squad after being a regular. But everything has turned out differently in the meantime, the rest is history. I’m not angry with anyone today.”
Source by Football London