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May 14, 2022 at 4.45pm UK at Wembley Stadium
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James (77')
Liverpool win 6-5 on penalties

Chelsea's Andreas Christensen 'refused to play in FA Cup final'

Andreas Christensen 'refused to play in FA Cup final'
© Reuters
Chelsea centre-back Andreas Christensen reportedly pulled out of the squad to face Liverpool in Saturday's FA Cup final ahead of his summer departure.

Chelsea centre-back Andreas Christensen allegedly left teammates stunned by refusing to play in Saturday's FA Cup final with Liverpool.

Thomas Tuchel was known to be without Ben Chilwell and Callum Hudson-Odoi for the Wembley trip, while Mateo Kovacic and N'Golo Kante recovered from their respective injuries as Kai Havertz and Timo Werner picked up fresh ones.

Trevoh Chalobah, Thiago Silva and Antonio Rudiger linked up as the Blues' back three in the final against Liverpool, with Cesar Azpilicueta on the bench.

However, Christensen - who had only just recovered from a bout of illness but was expected to make the squad - was nowhere to be seen in the capital.

According to The Mirror, Christensen took the decision to rule himself out of the FA Cup final, and the Danish centre-back may very well have played his final game for the Blues.

 Chelsea's Andreas Christensen during the warm up before the match, January 8, 2022© Reuters

Christensen was reportedly set to start at Wembley but shocked his teammates by disappearing from the team hotel, forcing Tuchel into a last-minute change of plans.

The 26-year-old was able to complete 90 minutes of action in Wednesday's Premier League victory over Leeds United, but he is understood to have complained of sickness before the game.

However, with Christensen's Chelsea contract now set to expire in only six weeks' time, the Euro 2020 semi-finalist may therefore have played his last game for the club amid the revelations.

Lengthy negotiations with the former Brondby youngster have not led to a positive solution, in spite of previous optimism over an agreement before Christensen switched agents.

If Christensen has indeed played his final game for the club, the defender leaves Chelsea having scored two goals and provided two assists in 161 games since joining their youth academy in 2012.

Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel during the FA Cup final on May 14, 2022.© Reuters

Both of Christensen's goals and one of his assists have come in 34 games across all tournaments this season, but he has only played 19 games in the Premier League - 17 of them from the first whistle.

The 55-cap Denmark international has helped the Blues win the Champions League, Club World Cup, Europa League, EFL Cup and FA Cup, but his side went down on penalties to Liverpool without him on Saturday.

Barcelona are widely expected to secure the signature of Christensen as a free agent, and he will not be the only Blues defender on the move at the end of the season.

Antonio Rudiger is already confirmed to be leaving Chelsea when his own contract expires next month, and Real Madrid will wrap up the signing of the Germany international soon.

Meanwhile, Marcos Alonso and Azpilicueta are also reported targets for the Blaugrana, and Chelsea are thought to be keen to strike a quick deal for Sevilla's Jules Kounde to negate the loss of at least two of their centre-backs.

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