Chelsea are resigned to losing Antonio Rudiger next summer as Real Madrid have reached an agreement with the defender, according to Spanish outlet Todo Fichajes.
Rudiger has been a key player for Chelsea since Thomas Tuchel took charge of the club. The Germany international helped the Blues win the Champions League last term. He has made 24 appearances across all competitions this season, keeping 12 clean sheets.
However, Rudiger is in the final six months of his contract with the Premier League giants. The 28-year-old is reportedly not happy with the deal Chelsea have offered him, sparking talk of an exit in the summer.
Rudiger is likely to leave Stamford Bridge at the end of the season as things stand. The centre-back will not be short of options should he decide to put an end to his association with Chelsea. Several clubs, including Real Madrid and Paris-Saint Germain (PSG), have been credited with an interest in him.
According to reports, Chelsea have now come to terms with Rudiger's imminent departure. Tuchel and co. do not expect the former AS Roma star to be at the club at the start of the 2022-23 season.
If reports are to be believed, Real Madrid have reached an agreement to sign Rudiger on a free transfer in the summer. The defender will put pen to paper on a four-year deal with Los Blancos, while earning €11m-per-year.
Bayern Munich and PSG are also interested in signing Rudiger. However, the German has reportedly chosen Real Madrid over the other two clubs.
Real Madrid players are said to be convinced that Rudiger will join the team next summer. Carlo Ancelotti's side, though, are keen to strengthen their defense further. Feyenoord defender Marcos Senesi has also emerged as a transfer target for the La Liga giants.
Will Chelsea sign a replacement for Antonio Rudiger?
Chelsea will have a huge void to fill if and when Antonio Rudiger leaves the club in the summer. Thiago Silva and Cesar Azpilicueta also nearing the end of their careers. Consequently, the Blues are likely to sign a new centre-back ahead of the 2022-23 season.
Tuchel's side were heavily linked with a move for Sevilla defender Jules Kounde last summer. Chelsea could revive their interest in the Frenchman should they look for a replacement for Rudiger.
The Blues have also been credited with an interest in Borussia Monchengladbach star Matthias Ginter. The Germany international could be an option for the Premier League giants next summer.
Here are five centre-backs Chelsea could target next summer.