Antonio Rudiger to join Real Madrid on a free transfer from Chelsea

German defender's contract expires in the summer when he will join La Liga club

Chelsea's Antonio Rudiger will join Real Madrid in the summer. Reuters
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Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger will join Real Madrid following the expiry of his contract this summer.

Rudiger will officially join the Spanish champions on a free transfer on July 1, having signed a four-year deal and passed a medical.

The 29-year-old will earn £340,000-a-week at Los Blancos, after rejecting the option to remain with Chelsea.

Several clubs were keen to secure the services of the Germany international, but Rudiger had his heart set on a move to Carlo Ancelotti’s side, after they were the first club to express an interest.

He was also linked with Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich and Juventus, and his agent had even previously held talks with Barcelona, according to various reports.

The sanctions on Roman Abramovich are believed to have made it difficult for the centre-back to remain at Stamford Bridge, with talks over extending his deal proving impossible.

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel previously expressed his disappointment, after revealing Rudiger would leave the club at the end of the season following the Blues’ 1-0 win over West Ham last month.

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“The situation is that he wants to leave the club. He informed me of this in a private talk,” the German said.

“We gave everything – me and the club – but we could not fight any more because of the sanctions. Without the sanctions we would at least be able to carry on fighting, but our hands are tied. We don't take it personally. It is his decision.

“He is a key figure and will stay that way until the end of the season. But it is disappointing. We will miss him a lot.

“He gives courage in the dressing room – the kind everyone is afraid of, but the kind to play 50-55 games at an outstanding level. He is a top defender in the last one-and-a-half years for me. We then need to find another solution.”

Official confirmation of Rudiger’s move to the Santiago Bernabeu is expected after Real’s involvement in the Champions League final against Liverpool on May 28.

Updated: May 10, 2022, 5:51 PM