Antonio Rudiger has decided to leave Chelsea when his contract expires at the end of the season, according to a report.
The Germany international and the Blues entered the current campaign in a predicament over his future. Indeed, letting him enter the final year of his deal without tying him down has opened up the prospect of him leaving.
In fact, fellow centre-back Andreas Christensen found himself in the same position. He has already reportedly decided to move to Barcelona.
As a result, the focus has turned onto Rudiger‘s decision. He has consistently maintained in recent weeks that he remains focused on Chelsea’s end to the season.
However, clubs such as Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich are supposedly circling. The 29-year-old will of course be available as a free agent in the summer.
And according to The Guardian, Rudiger has now decided to leave Chelsea.
The Blues reportedly made a final attempt to tie him down earlier this year. They offered more than £200,000 a week to the player, who refused.
But since early March, Chelsea have been unable to offer new contracts to players because of the sanctions imposed on owner Roman Abramovich. The Stamford Bridge club are edging closer to new ownership. However, Rudiger has nevertheless decided that his future lies elsewhere.
The Guardian adds that Rudiger will make a decision on his next move ‘soon’. The latest report comes after earlier claims that Chelsea had hope over a new deal.
Real Madrid lead Rudiger race
As it stands, Real Madrid lead the race for the German. Manager Carlo Ancelotti is a big admirer of the player and has asked his club’s hierarchy to sign him.
Rudiger’s camp have also spoken to PSG, Bayern, Juve and Barcelona.
The centre-back could yet stay in the Premier League, with Manchester United monitoring the situation.
But for Chelsea, the newspaper claims that a summer splurge in defence has become increasingly likely. The Blues came close to signing Sevilla’s Jules Kounde last summer.
Chelsea situation stands out
With Rudiger and Christensen looking set to leave, 37-year-old Thiago Silva will become the club’s senior defender.
However, he has limited time at the top level and so Chelsea will likely look to a new signing.
Manchester United are facing a similar predicament, with five players’ contracts running out in the summer.
However, Chelsea’s situation at centre-back stands out given Rudiger and Christensen have proved crucial for Thomas Tuchel this season.