Chelsea’s Antonio Rudiger reaches ‘verbal agreement’ with Real Madrid for free transfer

Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger has reached a verbal agreement with Real Madrid about a move to the Bernabéu this summer.

Rudiger, 29, is out of contract at the end of the season and Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has confirmed that the centre-back is planning to leave on a free transfer.

Several of the top clubs in European football have been linked to the German international, including Manchester United, Barcelona, ​​PSG and Real Madrid.

According to Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano, Real Madrid is close to winning the race to sign Rudiger.

“Real Madrid has reached a verbal agreement with Antonio Rudiger,” tweeted Romano.

“Contract not yet signed – but Real Madrid is closing Rudiger’s contract for free: here we go soon! #RealMadrid

“It will be a long-term agreement. Final details will be discussed shortly, before the contract is signed.”

Rudiger is out of contract at the end of the season (Image: PA)
Rudiger is out of contract at the end of the season (Image: PA)

Rudiger has been at Chelsea since 2017 but has failed to sign a new contract at Stamford Bridge, with the Premier League club reportedly reluctant to match his salary demands.

Tuchel was initially hopeful of convincing Rudiger to stay with the Blues.

However, he has now admitted that sanctions imposed on club owner Roman Abramovich have made it virtually impossible to keep the centre-back.

Speaking after Sunday’s 1-0 win over West Ham, Tuchel said: “The situation is that he wants to leave the club. He informed me of this in a private conversation.

“We gave it our all – me and the club – but we couldn’t fight anymore because of the actions.

“Without the sanctions, at least we could keep fighting, but our hands are tied. We don’t take it personally. It’s his decision.

Tuchel confirmed that Rudiger plans to leave Chelsea this summer (Image: PA)
Tuchel confirmed that Rudiger plans to leave Chelsea this summer (Image: PA)

“He’s a key figure and he’ll stay that way until the end of the season. But it’s disappointing. We’ll miss him terribly. He gives courage in the locker room.

“The kind that everyone is afraid of, but the kind that plays 50 to 55 games at an exceptional level. He’s been a top-notch defender for the last and a half years for me.

“Then we need to find another solution.”

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