Antonio Rudiger spoke about the role Thomas Tuchel played in keeping him at Chelsea in early 2021.
The German international had spent long periods out of the starting squad before Tuchel was hired to replace Frank Lampard.
Despite having established himself as a key player at Stamford Bridge, the 28-year-old has yet to renew his contract beyond the end of 2021-22.
Rudiger has spoken about the influence of the Blues head coach last January.
The centre-back said: “Yeah [I was close to leaving], the way things were going for myself but also for the team, but in the winter period I was not keen to leave, to be honest. It was more in the summer period where I wanted to leave.
“But Thomas Tuchel came and the rest is history. He opened a new door, he played a big role.”
Tuchel hinted on Thursday that he is prepared to remain “patient” as Chelsea try to forge a new contract with Rudiger, who can speak to foreign clubs in just two weeks.