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There are a bevy of big-name players with contracts set to expire when their club season ends in June 2022 who are still patiently waiting either for answers from their club or for decisions to be made elsewhere before they make their own important and potentially career-altering choices. Once those dominos fall, we'll start to see clubs all over Europe begin to announce contract renewals. Let's take a look at some of the most interesting cases below.

Chelsea 'far' from Rudiger renewal

Antonio Rudiger has made it clear for months that Chelsea is his priority, with his desire to remain in London driven in part by the splendid relationship he has built with the club and Thomas Tuchel. At the moment, however, sources tell me that an agreement for the German star defender's contract extension remains "far from being reached." The negotiation will carry on, but it won't be easy as many clubs are beginning to inquire about his current status.

Rudiger and Chelsea may be far apart, but there's good news ahead for the club as Andreas Christensen is ready to sign his contract extension after coming to terms, verbally, weeks prior. Though two outside clubs have inquired, the Danish defender will stay put at Stamford Bridge. 

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Barcelona's next extensions; Villarreal's prized prospect

Let's move on to Spain, where, despite losing to Real Madrid over the weekend, there is good news on the Barcelona front after the club renewed Pedri and Ansu Fati's contracts until June 2027 and attached an astronomical €1 billion clause to their deals. The next few players to step forward and have a seat at the Blaugrana negotiation table will be 17-year-old midfielder Gavi, followed by Ousmane Dembélé, who's working his way back from a knee injury, and 22-year-old Uruguayan defender Ronald Araújo.

Villarreal, on the other hand, have an agreement ready for prized Spanish jewel Yeremy Pino. The young right winger recently had a promising debut for Luis Enrique's Spanish national team in October and turned 19 on the same day as his first Champions League goal scored against Young Boys. Now it is expected that he and the Submarino Amarillo will complete an extension that will keep him around until 2027.

Inter Milan and Juventus also busy with extensions

Shifting gears to Italy, there is excellent news for Inter Milan and Juventus, who drew 1-1 over the weekend in the Derby d'Italia on Paramount+. Paulo Dybala, who scored a penalty in that match, will soon sign his new contract with the Bianconeri, which ending the uncertainty driven buy his current contract which was due to expire in June 2022. The situation had become urgent but now everything is settled and an official announcement is prepared and ready to fire away. Another Argentine, Lautaro Martinez, said yes to Inter's extension proposal for five years which will effectively remove the €111 million release clause he previously had attached to his deal.

So the two Argentines will remain at Inter and Juventus, and an Italian and a Colombian will do the same. Nicolò Barella will sign for another five years with Inter. The midfielder candidate for the Ballon d'Or has put together an extraordinary campaign for club and country and will be awarded with an improved salary. Juan Cuadrado, on the other hand, will remain at Juventus for another year, extending his current agreement which was set to expire in 2022.