Chelsea defender, Antonio Rudiger, has snubbed Manchester United, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain to sign a four-year deal with Spanish giants, Real Madrid.
Rudiger, whose Chelsea contract comes to an end this season; after talks with the West London club broke down, has agreed to a €400,000 a week deal with Los Blancos.
The switch by the 29 year-old German to Santiago Bernabeu did not augur well with many Chelsea fans and club manager, Thomas Tuchel, who lamented over the ugly development.
Manchester United, Juventus, and PSG were interested in securing the services of the defensive rock after talks with Chelsea failed due to the UK sanction on Roman Abramovich, over the invasion of Ukraine by Russia.
Meanwhile, Tuchel has characterised Rudiger as a player who invigorates Chelsea’s dressing room and acknowledged that over the one-half-year, he has proven to be top class.
He stressed that he did everything he could with the club to retain the player in Stamford Bridge but the sanction on the club stalled the whole process.
“We gave everything – me and the club – but we could not fight anymore 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,” Tuchel told Sky Sports after the win against West Ham.
“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 for the last one-and-a-half years for me. We then need to find another solution,” Chelsea’s boss added.
Consequent to the exit of Antonio Rudiger to Madrid, with Christensen and Azpilicueta also set to leave the club at the end of the season, Tuchel’s first target during the summer is to build his defensive ranks, which only have Thiago Silva, Malang Sarr and Trevor Chalobah as the first option.