Real Madrid have reached a verbal agreement with Antonio Rudiger after confirmation the defender will leave Chelsea as a free agent this summer.
Thomas Tuchel has confirmed that Rudiger will leave Chelsea when his contract expires at the end of the season with the centre-back having informed the club of his desire to take up a new challenge.
Rudiger turned down a contract proposal from the West Londoners last summer and the two parties have since been unable to agree on an extension.
The Athletic are reporting that Chelsea’s most recent offer would have made Rudiger the highest-paid defender in the club’s history, though the proposal was still less than on offer from a number of Europe’s leading clubs.
Real Madrid now appear set to win the race to sign the Germany international, with Fabrizio Romano reporting that the Spanish side have reached a verbal agreement over a long-term deal.
Real Madrid have reached verbal agreement with Antonio Rüdiger. Contract not signed yet – but Real Madrid are now closing on Rüdiger deal on a free: here we go soon! ⚪️🤝 #RealMadrid
It’s gonna be a long-term deal. Final details to be discussed soon, before signing the contract. pic.twitter.com/Jn0uvP0UQa
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) April 25, 2022
Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich and Juventus have all also held talks with the German’s representatives, whilst Manchester United were keen on a deal that would have seen Rudiger remain in the Premier League.
Tuchel informed the media of Rudiger’s decision following Chelsea’s 1-0 win over West Ham on Sunday, admitting the current sanctions placed on the club made agreeing a deal more difficult.
“The situation is that he wants to leave the club,” Tuchel said. “He informed me of this in a private talk.
“We gave everything — me and the club — but we could not fight anymore because of the actions.
“Without the sanctions, we would have at least had the chance to keep fighting for Rudiger to stay but for many weeks now, our hands have been tied.”
The 29-year-old signed for Chelsea from Roma in 2017 and has since made 196 appearances in all competitions, winning the Champions League, FA Cup and Europa League among his honours.