Antonio Rudiger responds to Frank Lampard rumours after Chelsea sacking

Antonio Rudiger has hit back at claims he played a role in Frank Lampard's sacking as Chelsea manager.

Lampard was relieved of his duties at Stamford Bridge last week, with Thomas Tuchel hired as the man to oversee the Blues' climb up the Premier League table.

But some sections of the Chelsea faithful are still fuming over the decision to axe their former boss – and there have been suggestions that the German defender had encouraged the Chelsea hierarchy to make the controversial call.

Rudiger fell out of favour under Lampard at the start of the season, but eventually returned to the first-team fold and started three of Lampard's final four top-flight games in charge.

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And he toldThe Athletic: "There have been so many nonsense rumours around about me since last week.

"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 why 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.

"He took over the manager position last season when things were very complicated for all of us. But we managed to qualify for the Champions League together with him.

"He has given so many young players a chance in the first team and they are still doing an amazing job. I'm pretty sure we will see Frank Lampard back again at another club very soon."

Rudiger has also been forced to deny rumours of a falling out with Cesar Azpilicueta, insisting that his relationship with the club captain is strong.

He added: "There has never been any problem with Azpi. He's my captain and I'm very thankful that he and also Tammy reacted that quickly after they'd heard the rumours on social media.

"It looked like people from outside wanted to bother our unity in the squad. Hopefully, this negativity will go away again very soon and we can continue performances like in the Burnley game."

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