Antonio Rudiger: Real Madrid sign Chelsea defender on a free transfer after agreeing four-year deal | News from the transfer center

Real Madrid have confirmed the long-awaited signing of Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger on a four-year deal.

The 29-year-old will join the Bernabeu on a free transfer after rejecting attempts by the Blues to extend his contract.

Sky sports news As reported last month, Rudiger was set to join Real after preferring the newly-crowned European champions to a number of other elite clubs, including Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus and Manchester United.

It was reported at the time that the Germany international’s new deal would be worth €400,000 (£340,000) a week.

Real say they will unveil Rudiger as their player at a ceremony on June 20.

He wrote on Twitter: “I am proud to announce that I will be joining Real Madrid. I’m really looking forward to all the challenges that lie ahead and can’t wait to play my first games for this big club.”

Chelsea added: “Chelsea Football Club would like to thank Toni for his contribution to our success over the past five years and wish him all the best in his future career.

“Having made 203 appearances and 12 goals, he has established himself as one of the most passionate figures to represent the club in recent memory.”

Rudiger joined Chelsea from Roma five years ago, winning the 2018 FA Cup in his first season at the club under Antonio Conte.

He then helped the Blues to Europa League glory under Maurizio Sarri in 2019 but struggled for games under the Italian’s successor, Frank Lampard.

Rudiger attracted interest from clubs who wanted him on loan in January 2021 until Lampard was sacked and replaced by Thomas Tuchel, who immediately put his compatriot back in the starting XI.

The former Stuttgart and Borussia Dortmund defender was instrumental in Chelsea’s success in the Champions League at the end of the 2020/21 season as well as in winning the Club World Cup earlier this year.

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Melissa Reddy, Sky Sports senior reporter:

With Rudiger’s departure finally confirmed and fellow centre-back Andreas Christensen also set to move to La Liga, Chelsea are now moving forward with their summer recruitment plans.

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The Blues have already reached a verbal agreement with Sevilla defender Jules Kounde, with the Spanish club preferring a quick deal as they aim to balance their books before June 30.

Talks over a deal for Kounde stalled last year but there is optimism from all quarters that this time it will happen.

Paris Saint-Germain’s Presnel Kimpembe is shortlisted for central defense and preferred by Tuchel. Jose Gimenez from Atletico Madrid and Josko Gvardiol from RB Leipzig are also among the candidates.

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