According to reports, Real Madrid are intent on luring Chelsea stalwart defender Antonio Rudiger to the Santiago Bernabeu on a free transfer next summer. The 28-year-old has been a rock in the heart of Chelsea's defense under Thomas Tuchel. He has been instrumental in guiding the Blues to a Champions League trophy and an FA Cup since he moved to Stamford Bridge in 2017.
With his current contract expiring in June, the star has stalled over signing a deal at Stamford Bridge. Although Chelsea are keen to keep him at the club, the star seems to be holding out for better opportunities.
With Rudiger free to talk to other clubs in the January transfer window, Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain have been keeping tabs on his situation. Reports have already linked both European heavyweights to the star, but Real Madrid have also joined the race for his signature come January.
The current Real Madrid manager, Carlo Ancelotti, is apparently a huge admirer of the defender and is interested in bringing him to the Bernabeu. With Sergio Ramos now at Paris Saint-Germain and Raphael Varane at Manchester United, Ancelotti needs to bring in another center-back to boost his options. Rudiger is currently a target.
With Madrid reportedly intent on offering the defender £200,000-per-week wage, the club are expected to sell a number of big stars to raise funds for Rudiger. The Los Blancos higher-ups are looking at selling Gareth Bale, Isco, and Marcelo in order to garner the necessary funds. There are also rumors that Eden Hazard, after a below-par stint with Real Madrid, will leave the Santiago Bernabeu.
Real Madrid target Rudiger focused on Chelsea amid contract speculations
Last week, Antonio Rudiger kept mum about the ongoing contract negotiations, absolving himself of the speculation. He has kept 10 clean sheets in 15 games for the Blues this season.
The star insists he's happy and focused at Stamford Bridge:
"The most important thing is that I feel happy here. I think if people look at it, they can see I’m happy. About the contract situation, I talk with the club. This is for nobody’s ears. It was how I said it would be after the Euros – there would be talks. There was a talk between Marina [Granovskaia, a Chelsea director] and my agent."
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"We have the situation where we are at now and I have nothing to do with all the speculation. This is not in my mind. I’m focused on what I’m doing because this is why I wake up every morning."