Defiant Tuchel insists Chelsea will replace Rudiger

Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger

Thomas Tuchel has insisted Chelsea will be able to replace Antonio Rudiger despite the disappointment of losing the influential defender.

Head coach Tuchel confirmed after the Blues’ 1-0 win against West Ham that Rudiger will be leaving Stamford Bridge.

His contract expires at the end of the season and Chelsea have been unable to tie him to a new deal.

Tuchel said the club “gave everything” in their efforts to keep Rudiger but that the player had made it clear he wanted to move on.

Chelsea are currently not permitted to make signings but the expected takeover will pave the way for Tuchel to add to the squad.

Tuchel said: “It (replacing Rudiger) will be incredibly difficult because Toni is what he is: a big personality and a big leader.

“He takes fear away from other people and gives you confidence when he’s next to you.

“It will be challenging, but no matter much I love Toni and how big a role he played, there will be Chelsea without Toni Rudiger and we will find solutions.”

Rudiger, 29, has made 127 appearances since being signed from Roma in 2017.