Glen Johnson has urged Chelsea not to let Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen leave the club for nothing at the end of the season.
Both centre-backs are in the final year of their contracts at Stamford Bridge, despite both becoming valuable assets since Thomas Tuchel took over in January.
It means Chelsea are facing the real prospect of losing the duo, who both played in May’s Champions League final win over Manchester City, unless they can be tied down to new deals.
Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen are both in the final year of their contracts at Chelsea
Former Chelsea defender Johnson has said that it would be a ‘disaster’ for the club to let them both go.
‘From a business standpoint, it would be a disaster,’ he told Betting Odds.
‘Whether the club wants them both there long term is irrelevant because to replace those two players you’re going to have to spend an absolute fortune.
Both players have become valuable assets as part of Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea side
Tuchel is hopeful that both defenders will tie down their futures to Stamford Bridge
‘Even to give them both a year long deal with the intention of selling them after six months would make more sense than letting them walk out on a free.
‘It would be terrible business regardless of whether the club fancies them as players or not.’
Rudiger in particular has been linked to some of Europe’s biggest teams, such as Bayern Munich, who are keeping tabs on his contract situation.
German media have reported that the Bundesliga giants are willing to double his £5m-per-year salary.
Speaking about Rudiger after his excellent performance in Chelsea’s 3-0 victory over Leicester, Tuchel said: ‘He’s been outstanding from the first day to now.
Former Chelsea defender Glen Johnson said it would be a disaster to lose them for nothing
‘I hope it stays like this. Defensively we are strong as usual and they deserve the praise for it. They do a lot of invisible work, they protect each other, support and are brave in attacking. We want to be dangerous from set-pieces.
‘Everybody wants him to stay, it’s clear but sometimes there is a delay in these things and there is obviously a delay. He knows what he has here, a fantastic club, fantastic league. He’s a competitor.
‘We’ll have a bit of patience and hopefully a happy end.’
Rudiger and Thiago Silva are regulars in Chelsea’s back three, while Andreas Christensen contends for the third and final spot against Trevoh Chalobah and the versatile Cesar Azpilicueta.
Tuchel is desperate to keep the Dane and the club are still confident of ironing out any issues to get a new contract signed.