Antonio Rudiger has fiercely denied rumours of being behind Frank Lampard’s sacking.
The German defender had fallen out of favour under his former boss, and had been heavily linked with the exit door, both in summer and in January.
But Rudiger outlasted Lampard when the Blues’ board decided to wield the axe and bring in Thomas Tuchel.
Since then the centre-back has started both of Tuchel’s matches in charge so far, but he insists he had no part to play in Lampard losing his job.
“There have been so many nonsense rumours around about me since last week,” Rudiger told The Athletic . “I’ve never talked with the board about the situation of the coach or on any other topics.
“Frank Lampard trusted in my abilities after Christmas in a very difficult situation and I was thankful for this. It was also the main reason I told my representatives not to look for a possible winter move anymore.
“Unfortunately, it was not meant to be for our team to turn things around for the coach. We always wanted the best for the manager and for the club.”
Rudiger went on to explain how he still felt a vital part of the squad despite being pushed to the fringes, and praised Lampard for bringing through some of the club’s youth.
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Thomas Tuchel needs a winning start to his Stamford Bridge career after replacing the sacked Frank Lampard midway through January.
Englishman Tammy Abraham Is their top scorer with six Premier League goals in 18 games as their German manager aims to get the Blues higher up the table.
The rumours which circulated on social media suggested Rudiger had caused issues in the Chelsea camp, including in-fighting with his teammates, namely captain Cesar Azpilicueta.
But one of the youngsters Lampard gave a chance to, Tammy Abraham, launched a staunch defence of his teammate on Twitter.
“Hearing some mad stuff about @ToniRuediger on social media today,” Abraham wrote last week. “Compete nonsense. Toni is a big bro to all of us.”
Azpilicueta also played down the rumours publicly, stating: “With Toni, we didn’t have an issue and we have been working together for a few years.
“Everything is fine and I can say that didn’t happen. We didn’t have any issues and we don’t have. We always work together.”
Rudiger also dismissed the notion that the arrival of his compatriot Tuchel puts him and the other German players in the squad at an advantage.
It appears he has worked his way back into regular contention under the new boss though, after keeping two clean sheets in his first two games back in the side.