Antonio Rudiger to Real Madrid Rumours
Antonio Rudiger to Real Madrid rumours have been a thing for longer than Chelsea fans would like to remember.
Having become a fan favourite at Stamford Bridge, the Germany international will depart this summer to join Real Madrid as a free agent.
It’s a coup for Los Blancos after losing Raphael Varane and Sergio Ramos last offseason, and leaves Chelsea needing to rebuild their defence.
The tumultuous and drawn-out search for new owners restricted Chelsea’s business activities, and left the door ajar for Rudiger to push through a move to the Spanish capital.
He did just that, but this wasn’t a spontaneous thing. Real had been pursuing Rudiger for several months. Chelsea had previously tried and failed to come to an agreement on a long-term deal.
Instead, Rudiger has committed to four years and over £340,000 per week from Real Madrid, according to Sky Sports.
Rumours on Rudiger’s future have been floating around for over a year. He has remained reluctant to talk, but gave a slight insight into the situation after Chelsea’s FA Cup final defeat.
“I don’t want to go too deep into things. There was a chance but sanctions were not the problem.
“It’s been five years with ups and downs as normal. There were a lot of positive things, but that’s why I’m even more frustrated because I wanted to have a different ending [with a cup win].
“It’s about both sides. Chelsea have been great to me and I have been great for Chelsea. I am very, very thankful, both me and my family. I became a man here. My kids were born here and everything. London, and especially Chelsea, will always be special to me.”
If those salary figures are accurate (and considerably smaller numbers have been reported elsewhere), Rudiger will be earning more than all but four Premier League players.
Cristiano Ronaldo, David De Gea, Kevin De Bruyne and Jadon Sancho are the only players in the English top flight on more than £340,000 per week.
This was opportunism from Real Madrid, similar to what they exhibited last summer when they swooped in for David Alaba.
Having the cash, and being willing to spend, obviously enables such a deal, but this is also a prime example of the European champions using their reputation to force a transfer through.
Rudiger was happy at Chelsea, yet sometimes the lure of the Bernabeu and playing alongside the likes of Karim Benzema is too much to resist.
This coup has been overshadowed by Real swinging and missing in their public chase of Kylian Mbappe. The vast transfer fee for Aurélien Tchouaméni is now grabbing the headlines while Rudiger says his goodbyes at Chelsea and readies for life in Spain.
Rudiger, though, is a massive signing for a Real Madrid team which has had to start afresh in central defence after losing Ramos and Varane. The German replaces Ramos’ fire at the heart of the back line, and has shown he can do it on the biggest stage at Chelsea.
Tuchel Responds To Rudiger Departure
Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel was asked about Rudiger’s decision to leave the club back in April.
Tuchel was clearly disappointed by the news, saying, “I don’t think anybody likes it. He gives everybody confidence in the dressing room. He is a unique character and plays on an outstanding level. He sometimes takes the focus towards him, he loves responsibility.
“Nobody likes this decision but we have to accept it. Like it or not there will be life at Chelsea after Toni. It is also the most important thing for us that it ends like it started, on the highest level.”
Chelsea’s attention soon turned to how they can cope without Rudiger, who has been a stalwart in the defence since Tuchel replaced Frank Lampard.
On replacing Rudiger, Tuchel added, “It is my job. No matter how the situation is solved and how active we can be in the transfer market, at the end we will dig in and we will try to squeeze out everything from the squad that we have.
“I will fall in love with the squad I have then and push it to the limit. It was a pleasure every single day with Toni, I am concerned that we have talked too much about it in the past because there are still big things to achieve.
“From pre-season next season, life will go on whether we are happy about it or not and I will be fully involved with all my heart and all my knowledge.”
Andreas Christensen, Marcos Alonso and Cesar Azpilicueta could all follow Rudiger out of the door before the start of 2022-23. Chelsea must be ruing the decision to let Marc Guehi and Fikayo Tomori leave.
It will be a busy summer for the Blues under new ownership, and they have already been linked to several big-name defenders including Jules Kounde and Matthijs de Ligt.
Rumours of a deal for Declan Rice are inevitable, too. Though Rice has played his best football in central midfield, he would at least provide cover in the back three.
Pau Torres and Kalidou Koulibaly are once again going to appear in transfer columns for centre-back-needy clubs.
Stats Per 90 Minutes
- Pressures – 8.55
- Tackles – 1.56
- Interceptions – 1.37
- Blocks – 1.18
- Clearances – 2.95
- Aerials won – 2.02
- Shot-creating actions – 1.11
- Passes attempts – 74.58
- Pass completion – 88.6%
- Progressive passes – 4.85
- Progressive carries – 5.43
- FA Cup – 2017-18
- Champions League – 2020-21
- Europa League – 2018-19
- UEFA Super Cup – 2021
- Club World Cup – 2021
- Confederations Cup – 2017
- Champions League Squad of the Season – 2020-21
- Champions League Team of the Season – 2021-22
Career So Far…
- VfB Stuttgart II 2011-2015 – 22 appearances, three goals
- VfB Stuttgart 2012-2016 – 80 appearances, two goals
- Roma 2015-2017 – 72 appearances, two goals
- Chelsea 2017-2022 – 203 appearances, 12 goals
- Real Madrid 2022