The Germany international says he “wasn’t prepared to pack it all in” and leave Stamford Bridge despite falling down the squad pecking order

Antonio Rudiger has expressed his determination to win back a spot in Chelsea‘s starting XI after turning down a number of transfer offers over the summer.

Rudiger completed a £29 million ($38m) move to Chelsea from Roma in July 2017 and has since racked up 116 appearances for the club in all competitions, scoring six goals.

The Germany international has helped the Blues win the FA Cup and Europa League, while also playing a key role in their run to a fourth-place Premier League finish last season.

However, the 27-year-old has yet to feature for Frank Lampard’s side at the start of the 2020-21 campaign, with Thiago Silva drafted in on a free transfer to partner Kurt Zouma in the heart of defence after leaving Paris Saint-Germain in August.

PSG, Milan and Tottenham were all linked with Rudiger during the summer transfer window, but the market closed before any potential deal could be finalised.

The experienced centre-back has now revealed that he rejected two opportunities from potential suitors to remain in west London, telling The Athletic: “The club didn’t tell me that it was absolutely necessary for me to find a new club and that they definitely didn’t have me in their plans for the next few months.

“I also turned down one or two options myself. I wasn’t prepared to pack it all in simply because I had been left out a few times. I enjoy living in London and like being at Chelsea.”

Rudiger added: “Naturally, I looked at a couple of options in the two weeks before the end of the transfer window. There was a possibility of a loan deal, in order for me to get more game time. Due to many different reasons and the shortage of time, nothing materialised in the end.”

The former Roma star is currently away on international duty with Germany, and managed to get 90 minutes under his belt in the 3-3 draw against Switzerland in the Nations League on Tuesday.

Rudiger will now return to Chelsea ahead of the Premier League clash with Southampton on Saturday, and he is fully focused on forcing his way back into Lampard’s plans as the season progresses.

“It is what it is now. I will accept it for the time being and try to show myself in every training session,” he said. “We are in many different competitions, it’s two games per week all the way from now. Sometimes in football, things can change very quickly. That’s why I will continue to give my best every day and try to convince the manager.”

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