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Chelsea's Christensen withdrew from FA Cup final and multiple other games amid Barcelona links, reveals Tuchel

Chelsea coach Thomas Tuchel has revealed Andreas Christensen asked to be left out of the squad for the FA Cup final against Liverpool last week.

The Blues were beaten in the clash at Wembley as they drew 0-0 with the Reds and went on to lose on penalties.

Christensen was not involved and the German coach says he is not sure if he will be part of the team to face Leicester on Thursday or in the final game of the season against Watford on Sunday.

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What has Tuchel said about Christensen?

“Not sure yet if he is involved tomorrow and on the weekend. Well, Andreas came in the morning of the [FA Cup final] to inform me, speak to me," Tuchel told reporters.

"He told me he was not ready to play the match, to start the match and be on the bench. He had his reasons. They stay private and confidential.

"It was not the first time as you can see over the last weeks that we had some of the same situations. That’s why he did not play regularly over the last weeks.

"We thought we are in a good progression, development because he played a strong match before the final against Leeds. The conversation took place. We had to respect it. Of course. He has our support still but for tomorrow I am unsure."

Asked if the defender will play against Watford, Tuchel said: “Probably unlikely. It was very short notice before the cup final, not only before this match. Other matches the weeks before. No chance I have a prediction before tomorrow or the weekend."

Why did Christensen ask to be left out?

Christensen, 26, has been linked with a move to Barcelona in recent weeks.

The Denmark international's contract at Chelsea expires this summer and GOAL reported in March that Barca are pushing to land him, though they could face competition from Bayern Munich.

Tuchel did not say that the transfer was related to the uncertainty about his future, saying: "I don’t think it’s that he does not want to play, he was not able to play. It’s a big difference. We had more than this conversation but on Saturday morning he finally told me.

“We had to accept it and we will accept it. I try the best I can to not take things personal and I still believe Andreas wanted to play these kinds of matches.

"I still believe he could in terms of potential and what he gives to the team. That’s why he was a key player for us.

"He struggled over the last weeks, as you can see when he was not in the squad or not playing although he was physically available, not injured. That was not completely out of the blue. That’s why it was, yeah, not the ideal scenario for us.

"We thought we prepared in the best way possible for him in Leeds where he managed a lot of pressure on us in a very impressive way. We thought we had him available. He is a key player. If you arrive in a final against Liverpool you want everybody available which was not the case."

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