Reports have claimed that key centre-back Antonio Rudiger is on his way out of Stamford Bridge after five years at the club as he has reached an informal agreement to join Spanish giants Real Madrid in the summer.
The 28-year-old defender and Chelsea have failed to come to an understanding in their contract negotiations, with reports suggesting that Antonio Rudiger is rejecting the club’s offers.
The Germany centre-back is understood to be weighing his options at Chelsea due to receiving more lucrative offers from his home country of Germany as well as Real Madrid, stalling the contract talks with the Blues despite claiming in the past that he would like to continue at the London club.
Real Madrid is now reportedly in pole position to get the UEFA Champions League winner on a free transfer next season to finally replace Sergio Ramos, who left the club at the beginning of this season for Paris Saint-Germain.
According to The Independent, Madrid reached an informal agreement with Rudiger’s brother and agent, Sahr Senesie, for the centre-back’s signature.
Per the reports, negotiations are supposed to begin at the turn of the new year between Rudiger’s entourage and Real Madrid as facilitated by Senesie who met with Los Blancos chiefs a few weeks ago to discuss a potential free transfer for his sibling.
Chelsea now have just under a month to convince Rudiger, who is reported to be looking for a new contract worth £12 million a year, to stay in London or risk losing one of their most important players on a free transfer.
Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur and Bayern also in the race for Antonio Rudiger
Manchester United’s interim boss Ralf Rangnick is a big fan of the defender and is rumoured to have mentioned him to the hierarchy at Old Trafford as one of his preferred transfer targets.
Rudiger’s agent Senesie is also said to have met with Bayern Munich management bigwigs last week as the German champions look to beat Real Madrid to the negotiations.
Tottenham Hotspur is also under pressure from Antonio Conte to get the German as an addition for their very depleted defence, but the reports claim that not much may come out of this rumoured push for Rudiger by Conte as the defender prefers a move abroad if he leaves Chelsea.
Dilemma for Thomas Tuchel
Thomas Tuchel has come to trust his 28-year-old compatriot who was left frozen out of Frank Lampard’s Chelsea a year ago. Rudiger is one of the players with the most minutes in the squad and his departure would be a major blow for Tuchel.
Tuchel commented on the situation last month: “The situation is the situation. We want him to stay, this is very clear and he knows it.
“But sometimes in these situations, there is a certain delay and, obviously, there is a delay in these talks and his decision.”
Rudiger is not the only headache Tuchel has currently. While the German will be focused on getting Chelsea back on track after a slight dip in form in the last few games, he’ll be worrying about the contracts of most of his defence.
Trevor Chalobah is his only defender without contract issues, as Andreas Christensen, club captain Cesar Azpilicueta and Thiago Silva are all out of a contract in the summer.
Backup defender Malang Sarr is also looking for a way out as he has found game time hard to come by at Stamford bridge.