Christensen may have played Chelsea’s last game with the FA Cup withdrawal not his first

The Danish defender has informed the Chelsea manager that he is unavailable for Saturday’s clash with Liverpool at Wembley on the morning of the match, despite not suffering from an injury.

Tuchel revealed it wasn’t the first time Christensen had declared himself not ready to play – and couldn’t confirm whether the player had made his final appearance for the club, with just two games remaining in the season.

Christensen will join Barcelona as a free agent this summer – and is doubtful for Thursday’s game against Leicester and Sunday’s season finale against Watford.

Tuchel said: “I don’t know yet if he is involved tomorrow and at the weekend.

“Andreas came the morning of the match to inform me, talk to me. He told me he was not ready to play the game, start the game and be on the bench. He had his reasons. They will remain private and confidential.

“It wasn’t the first time, as you can see over the past few weeks, that we had some of the same situations. That’s why he hasn’t played regularly in recent weeks.

“We thought we were making good progress, development because he had a strong game before the final against Leeds. The conversation took place. We had to respect it. Sure. He still has our support, but for tomorrow, I’m not sure.

“It is probably unlikely [for the weekend]. It was very short before the cup final, not just before this game. Other matches the previous weeks. No chance that I will have a prognosis before tomorrow or the weekend.

Chelsea worked hard to convince Christensen to stay at the club after establishing himself as a key player under Tuchel.

But the 26-year-old rejected a number of contract offers, although Chelsea’s hierarchy believe a deal was agreed before Christmas.

Tuchel added: “I don’t think it’s that he doesn’t want to play, he couldn’t play. It’s a big difference. We had more than this conversation, but on Saturday morning he m finally said.

“We had to accept it and we will accept it. I try my best not to take things personally and I still believe that Andreas wanted to play these kinds of matches. I still believe he could in terms of potential and what he brings to the team, which is why he was a key player for us.

“He’s struggled for the past few weeks, as you can see when he wasn’t in the squad or not playing although he was physically available, not injured.

“It wasn’t completely out of the blue. That’s why it wasn’t the ideal scenario for us. We thought we prepared in the best possible way for him in Leeds where he handled a lot of pressure on us in a very impressive way.

“We thought we had it available. He is a key player. If you get to the final against Liverpool you want everyone to be available, which was not the case.

standard Sport

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