"It has meant everything to me" - Chelsea star Antonio Rudiger pens emotional message confirming exit from club

Rudiger bids farewell to Stamford Bridge.
Rudiger bids farewell to Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger has confirmed his departure from the club with a heartfelt message reminiscing his experiences at Stamford Bridge

The 29-year-old leaves the Blues after five years since arriving from AS Roma for £31.5 million in 2017. He has won the UEFA Champions League, Europa League, FA Cup and League Cup during his stint at Stamford Bridge.

The German defender will join La Liga champions Real Madrid this summer on a free transfer following the expiration of his contract with Chelsea. Rudiger has now penned a heartwarming message to the club and their fans as he confirms his exit.

He told The Player's Tribune:

"I leave this club with a heavy heart. It has meant everything to me. Even this season, with all the complications, has been enjoyable. Football is football.

He continued:

"Unfortunately, my contract negotiations had already started to get difficult last fall. Business is business, but when you don’t hear any news from the club from August to January, the situation becomes complicated. After the first offer, there was a long gap of just nothing."

Rudiger added:

"We’re not robots, you know? You cannot wait for months with so much uncertainty about your future. Obviously, no one saw the sanctions coming, but in the end, other big clubs were showing interest, and I had to make a decision. I will leave it at that, because business aside, I have nothing bad to say about this club.

Rudiger concluded:

"Chelsea will always be in my heart. London will always be my home. I came here alone, and now I have a wife and two beautiful kids. I also have a new brother for life named Kova. I have an FA Cup, a Europa League and a Champions League medal. And of course, I have hundreds of memories that will stay with me forever."
Champions League 🏆Europa League 🏆FA Cup 🏆UEFA Super Cup 🏆FIFA Club World Cup 🏆🔜 Antonio Rüdiger has confirmed his departure from Chelsea at the end of this season 👋

Rudiger will make his final and appearance and say his goodbye in person when Chelsea host Watford in their final Premier League game of the season at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, May 22.

Chelsea target Jules Kounde tells French teammates he wants to join Real Madrid

Sevilla FC vs West Ham United: Round of 16 Leg One - UEFA Europa League
Sevilla FC vs West Ham United: Round of 16 Leg One - UEFA Europa League

Chelsea have eyed Jules Kounde as a potential replacement for the departing Antonio Ruidger.

According to GOAL, the Blues are determined to sign the Sevilla centre-back once sanctions on the club end, and Todd Boehly's takeover is complete. The fee being touted to bring the 24-year-old to Stamford Bridge is £59 million.

🚨 Chelsea want to revive the transfer of Jules Koundé from Sevilla as they actively search for Antonio Rüdiger's replacement.(Source: Mundo Deportivo)

However, they may have been handed a major curve ball. There have been reports that Kounde has told his France teammates Karim Benzema and Kylian Mbappe that he wants to join La Liga winners Madrid.

ABC (via Football London) has reported that the centre-back has spoken to his French teammates over his future that he desires a move to Los Blancos. It would be a huge blow to Thomas Tuchel's potential pursuit of the defender, who could now join Rudiger at the Santiago Bernabeu.

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Edited by Bhargav
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