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Key Chelsea star set for January move as three-year deal ‘agreed’ with Euro giant

An integral Chelsea star looks set to leave in January after reportedly agreeing a three-year contract with Spanish giants Real Madrid.

Manager Thomas Tuchel and director Marina Granovskaia have work to do to keep the club’s backline intact. Four defenders have contracts expiring in June – Andreas Christensen, Thiago Silva, Antonio Rudiger and Cesar Azpilicueta.

Christensen is a target for La Liga sides Barcelona and Atletico. Recent reports suggest a ‘breakthrough’ in negotiations could see him remain at Stamford Bridge, although a new deal is yet to materialise.

Silva, 37, is being eyed by former club Fluminense in Brazil. They want the veteran defender to finish his career in his homeland. However, Silva is still having a huge impact at the top level, as shown by his performance against West Ham at the London Stadium.

The star put Chelsea in front 28 minutes in with a towering header, before clearing a goalbound shot off the line. He was unlucky to be on the losing side as a freak Arthur Masuaku goal gave West Ham all three points.

Rudiger is attracting interest from Europe’s biggest teams, including Bayern and Paris Saint-Germain. Azpilicueta, meanwhile, is edging closer to a Barcelona switch.

CaughtOffside, citing reports in the Spanish press, provide a big update on the future of one Chelsea man.

They write that Germany international Rudiger has agreed to join Carlo Ancelotti’s Real Madrid. He is preparing to pen a three-year deal at the Santiago Bernabeu, in a move which will likely take place this winter.

Madrid will only have to pay Chelsea a nominal transfer fee under the Bosman ruling. As Rudiger’s value sits at £31.5m, according to transfermarkt, Chelsea look set to lose out on some serious money.

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Juventus’ Matthijs de Ligt and Sevilla’s Jules Kounde are potential replacements at the back.

Seven players Antonio Conte could sign for Tottenham in January

Chelsea title strength waning – pundit

Meanwhile, former defender Frank Leboeuf thinks Chelsea’s title strength is waning as the campaign goes on.

The defeat to West Ham saw Tuchel’s men fall behind Man City and Liverpool in the Premier League table. They are a point behind Jurgen Klopp’s side and two off the defending champions.

“The football they play is interesting but it’s not convincing. I don’t feel the strength that I used to see months ago,” Leboeuf told ESPN FC.

“Remember, last year before Frank Lampard was sacked, they were [third] and people were saying, ‘Chelsea may be a contender’.

“And then something happened in December and they lost against Arsenal on December 26, and they were nowhere near it before Tuchel came in.

“So, I don’t know if history is going to be repeated, but let’s see. But I’m not happy with what I see.

“It’s interesting, but how can you lose after you lead 2-1, conceding two stupid goals like that?”

READ MORE: Ralf Rangnick has impact on £17m Chelsea deal as urgent talks scheduled

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