FOUR Chelsea defenders who can sign pre-contract agreements with other clubs in January

FOUR Chelsea defenders who can sign pre-contract agreements with other clubs in January

Chelsea are among the favourites to win this season's Premier League title, and their strong start to the campaign backs this claim. 

The Blues, who started the season like a house on fire, are currently third, behind Manchester City and Liverpool. 

Despite the European champions dropping a lot of points in recent matches, they remain within touching distance of league leaders Man City. 

Their good run so far has been as a result of a compact defense, which until recently had conceded the fewest number of goals in the league. 

The defenders have also been involved heavily on the other end, supporting the striking unit and chipping in with crucial goals. 

Antonio Rudiger, Thiago Silva, Trevor Chalobah, Reece James, and Ben Chilwell have all scored at least two goals each. 

The Blues are however facing the prospect of losing some of those defenders, as they are out of contract at the end of the current season. 

Rudiger, Silva, Cezar Azpilicueta, and Andreas Christensen are all out of contract, and as such, can sign pre-contract agreements with other clubs in January. 

Rudiger, in particular, has attracted attention from a number of European powerhouses, including Bayern Munich, PSG, and Real Madrid. 

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has however said he is not worried over the future of the quartet, saying they know how valuable they are to the club. 

"All of these players know very well how much we appreciate them, and the big role they play in our plans and in the presence of this team and this club," said Tuchel on Wednesday. 

"They are very aware of it and will not throw it away like this. Of course, it’s their right now to do things, but it’s also their right to stay with us and be a part of the future of Chelsea Football Club.

"We are on it with patience and with confidence, and we are on it with a trust in the relationship between the players and staff, and players and the club, and this is how it should be,"

Azpilicueta, in particular, has been used sparingly this season, thanks to the emergence of James at right-back. 

Christensen has also been a bit-part player following the introduction of Chalobah into the team. 

Rudiger and Silva are however considered key players at the back, with the club willing to go over and above to tie them down once again.