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Chelsea superstar agrees to join European giants, contract includes €400m release clause



Antonio Rudiger with Chelsea boss, Thomas Tuchel.

Antonio Rudiger will leave Chelsea when his contract expires and join Real Madrid

According to The Athletic (Subscription Required), Antonio Rudiger will leave Chelsea at the end of the season when his contract expires. He will sign a four-year contract with Real Madrid.

He has signed a deal with the Galacticos that runs until 2026 and will make the switch after his contract with Chelsea expires. The defender will move to Spain as a free agent. The official announcement is most likely to come after Madrid’s Champions League fixture against Liverpool.

Rudiger is expected to earn between €9-10 million per year after taxes — plus a signing-on fee — which is much more than he was earning at Chelsea and what they offered to extend his contract. The 29-year-old has already completed a medical and his contract at the Bernabeu has a €400 million release clause.

Transfer News: Chelsea eye Gleison Bremer to replace Antonio Rudiger in the summer.
Antonio Rudiger is set to join Real Madrid. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

So, where does Chelsea go from here?

Chelsea’s defence will be dealt a major blow with the loss of one of their star players. The German international was instrumental in bolstering Chelsea’s defence during their Champions League triumph last season. Despite concerns that he may go, we anticipated Chelsea to persuade him to stay after the new ownership stepped over.

The sanction imposed on the club by the UK government would have made further negotiations with Rudiger challenging. Due to restrictions placed on Roman Abramovich, no new signings or contracts could be negotiated. Thomas Tuchel admits that he wished for his centre-back to remain.

“We fought hard; I fought hard on a personal level. We made big offers to him, and the club tried everything. But for some weeks we cannot fight any more because we have the sanctions. We cannot adjust. We cannot continue, and so it is what it is.”

Chelsea star Antonio Rudiger have already signed an agreement with Real Madrid.
Transfer News: Chelsea star Antonio Rudiger has already signed an agreement with Real Madrid.

Tuchel will struggle to make up for the loss, and his defence will be further weakened by Andreas Christensen’s prospective free transfer to Barcelona. Also, Marcos Alonso is willing to leave Stamford Bridge, while Thiago Silva and Cesar Azpilicueta are nearing the end of their careers.

Chelsea’s potential new owners may be pressed to bring in some new faces in defence. There would, of course, be names that would be linked to Chelsea, such as Pau Torres or Jules Kounde, but it is hard to find someone who can equal the German’s dedication and commitment.

More Chelsea news

Todd Boehly has recently promised that he would be investing a significant amount of money in the team’s development during this transfer window. We now know where the money could be spent. The Blues now face the challenge of finding a suitable replacement for the club’s top centre-back.

It is truly sad to see the back of Rudiger, especially how he only recently started to showcase his best form. It wasn’t until Tuchel’s arrival in January last year that he really started hitting his strides. And while it is a shame to know he could be playing for a European rival in Madrid next season, Chelsea cannot be fixated on one player and must plan for life ahead of him.

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