Uncertainty around Chelsea’s ownership could lead to Antonio Rudiger joining fierce rivals Manchester United or another major club such as Barcelona, Real Madrid or Juventus.
The four footballing superpowers are ready to offer the 29-year-old a lucrative contract after extension negotiations ground to a halt due to sanctions on Roman Abramovich and ongoing talks to sell the club.
The Blues defender was close to signing a renewal that would have made him the club’s highest-paid defender, but negotiations may have to be picked up from scratch by one of the four American-led consortiums currently in the process of trying to buy the Stamford Bridge side.
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How has it come to this for Rudiger?
With Abramovich having been sanctioned due to his ties to Russian president Vladimir Putin, the invasion of Ukraine has led to the businessman having to sell the club.
Chelsea are working closely with the UK government to facilitate a sale, but the uncertainty caused by the situation has plunged Rudiger's future into doubt.
Had the club bowed to the German's renewal demands earlier there would be no cause for concern, but director Marina Granovskaia's tough negotiating approach has seen talks drag on for some time.
In addition, the deadline for final bids from those interested in buying the club has been pushed back to April 14, which has caused further delays.
Those bids will then be assessed in painstaking detail in line with the Premier League’s due diligence process.
As frustrating as it is for fans, the process has actually moved at an unprecedented pace due to the potential sporting issues and devaluing of the club that would happen should the takeover - worth over £2.5 billion ($3.3bn) - rumble on.
Most of the other issues have been resolved by adjustments to the club’s licence, including allowing supporters into matches.
Indeed, The Blues are losing around £30 million ($40m) a month, but Abramovich can now put in money through his parent company, Fordstam Ltd, to cover the shortfall.
Is there any other transfer activity at Chelsea?
The Blues continue to scout for players that they could try to sign in the summer, with a marquee signing likely to be sanctioned by any new owner.
Sevilla’s Jules Kounde was a leading central defender target, with midfielders Declan Rice and Aurelien Tchouameni also on the agenda.
They’re also looking at youth players to bolster their academy teams, which have struggled this season.
In terms of outgoings, Andreas Christensen looks set to depart Barcelona on a free transfer for issues unrelated to the ownership.
The Catalan giants are also keen to sign Cesar Azpilicueta, although an appearance clause that was first revealed by GOAL has extended his contract for another season.
Elsewhere, Dortmund are interested in signing Timo Werner, who could push for a move away in the summer.
Tuchel has also called on the club to not allow a repeat of the situation around expiring contracts for defenders to happen next season, with N’Golo Kante and Jorginho having just over a year left on their respective deals.