Chelsea central defender Antonio Rudiger is in the final weeks of his contract at Stamford Bridge and despite both parties hoping to extend his deal, they have been unable to reach an agreement
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Antonio Rudiger is ready to walk away from Chelsea, with reports claiming he will decide who to join as a free agent next week.
The German international is out of contract at Stamford Bridge at the end of the season and despite several attempts from the club, the two parties have been unable to come to an agreement. Having been ostracized by former Blues boss Frank Lampard, Rudiger has become a mainstay under Thomas Tuchel and played a key role in them becoming European and World champions.
The news comes as a bitter blow to Chelsea, who also look set to lose Rudiger’s defensive colleague Andreas Christensen, with the Dane looking set to join Barcelona at the end of the current campaign. As for Rudiger, the Athletic report that Chelsea’s failure to tie him down before owner Roman Abramovich was sanctioned by the UK government has ultimately cost them.
The report claims that the first offer came all the way back in August, but was deemed an insult by the defender and his representatives at just £ 90,000-per-week. It then took several months for talks to resume, before an offer of £ 230,000-per-week, plus signing-on fee was lodged.
However, it is understood that Rudiger has proposals close to £ 300,000-per-week from prospective new suitors and he will now have his pick of Europe’s elite. The 29-year-old has been able to discuss a pre-contract agreement with clubs from abroad since January, with the likes of Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain said to be firmly in the race.
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Rudiger had hoped to stay in West London having previously said how happy and settled he and his family were in the English capital. “You have to think about your family. My kids were born here in London so that tells you that my family feel great here,” he explained back in January.
“The rest is up to other people to make decisions and then we will see if we come together or not.” However, following the news that Abramovich had had his assets frozen due to links with Russian president Vladimir Putin, they have been unable to continue negotiating.
A preferred bidder to buy the club from Abramovich is expected to be named in the next week, but that appears to be too late to keep Rudiger at the club.
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After scoring the opener during the 4-1 defeat by Brentford, Tuchel intimated that Rudiger’s wild celebrations meant he wanted to stay put. “If you want to read something into it, you can read something into it,” the German boss said.
“I was surprised he came to me to celebrate. He was maybe surprised that the ball went in, because he tried so many times.
“But yeah, it was a nice moment. You could see how happy he is, you could see how everybody was happy with him and what it meant to him and what it meant to us. “
With Rudiger and Christensen both set to exit the Champions League winners, attentions now turn to captain Cesar Azpilicueta, who despite having an option to extend his contract for another 12-months, has yet to officially confirm his plans.