Chelsea chief Marina Granovskaia has been warned to act quickly to keep Antonio Rudiger at Stamford Bridge as he approaches the final months of his contract.
The defender has been compared to Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk due to his impact on the Blues side and his ability to bring the ball out from the back.
Rudiger is out of contract next summer and is yet to agree terms on a new deal in west London.
According to football.london, the player wants £200,000 a week to stay at Chelsea, but club chiefs are only offering a package worth £140,000.
The 28-year-old will be free to talk to overseas clubs in the New Year, with Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain apparently vying to land him on a free transfer at the end of the season.
The likes of Bayern Munich and Juventus are also thought to be interested in Rudiger, while Manchester United could reportedly be about to launch a shock bid for the player.
And former Chelsea midfielder Steve Sidwell admits Rudiger is irreplaceable.
He’s really stepped up to the plate not only defensively but on the ball as well,” Sidwell told BT Sport.
“Some of the drives out for the ball to come out and start attacks for Chelsea. If they let him go, who do you replace him with? He’s invaluable.
“He can play passes forward – he ventures forward when he needs to.
“Defensively the last few games he’s slipped. He’s let runners go and let’s his go of his position quite a lot.
“But when he’s on it, there’s no one better in the Premier League.”
Meanwhile Joleon Lescott has extolled Rudiger for the fact he kept himself ready to perform when he was overlooked by former boss Frank Lampard.
“He’s one of the few defenders who you can tell actually enjoys defending,” said the ex-Manchester City defender. “Being in the one vs one battle and physical side of the game.
“I think he’s right to be in this situation because when Frank Lampard was there, he couldn’t even get into the squad.
“So, the fact that he’s kept himself ready when Thomas Tuchel came in.
“He was ready to perform and has been consistent. He’s probably been their most consistent player since arriving.
“So he deserves to be in this situation. I’m sure Chelsea are doing everything in their power to keep him.”
Rudiger has only missed one Premier League game all season and is set to take his place at the heart of the Chelsea defence when his side travel to Wolves on Sunday.