Real Madrid close to agreeing deal with Chelsea’s Antonio Rüdiger


Real Madrid are close to signing Antonio Rüdiger on a free transfer after reaching a verbal agreement with the Chelsea defender over a lucrative four-year contract.

Rüdiger held positive talks with the Bernabéu club’s hierarchy over the weekend and is set to receive a considerable pay rise having decided to leave Chelsea when his contract expires at the end of the season. Real’s manager, Carlo Ancelotti, has identified the Germany international as a key signing and while the move has not been finalised it is should be confirmed soon. The 29-year-old is expected to earn at least £200,000 a week.

Chelsea were desperate to keep Rüdiger, who earns around £90,000 a week, but were unable to reach an agreement with him before the sanctions imposed on Roman Abramovich left the club unable to hand out new contracts. Talks with the 29‑year‑old centre-back broke down after Chelsea offered him a deal worth a minimum of £200,000 a week, only to be met with a request for a signing-on bonus and large fees for the player’s representatives.

Negotiations ended with Rüdiger rejecting Chelsea’s offer and the uncertainty over the club’s ownership has played a huge part in his impending departure. The former Roma defender was not willing to wait for Abramovich to sell the club and has decided to seek a new challenge. Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Manchester United, Juventus and Paris Saint‑Germain have targeted Rüdiger but Real are expected to be his next destination.

Losing Rüdiger will be a big setback for Thomas Tuchel, whose defence is expected to be weakened further by Andreas Christensen joining Barcelona on a free transfer. The situation will force Chelsea’s next owners to spend heavily on defensive reinforcements this summer. Sevilla’s Jules Koundé is a long-term target, while there have been links with Leicester’s Wesley Fofana.

It is hoped the three consortiums looking to buy Chelsea will find out this week which has been selected as the club’s preferred bidder. Raine, the US bank handling the sale, are considering offers from groups fronted by Todd Boehly, Sir Martin Broughton and Stephen Pagliuca.

Source: The Guardian