After five years at the club, Thomas Tuchel has confirmed Antonio Rudiger’s departure from Chelsea after their 1-0 win over London rivals West Ham.
He arrived at Chelsea from As Roma for an initial fee of £29 million. After a rollercoaster spell with the Blues, most notably enjoying a resurgent career upon Tuchel’s appointment, his time with them is set to end in the coming weeks.
Rudiger, 29, informed the Chelsea hierarchy of his intention to become one of the highest-paid players within the team’s ranks. However, Chelsea offered a pay rise amounting to double the initial salary he signed on a five-year contract in 2017.
Reports had it that Chelsea were keen on extending the former Roma ace’s stay again, but the defender is determined to move on to new pastures.
Antonio Rudiger’s Chelsea Legacy
He has gone on to play 127 times for the club, scoring nine goals, assisting once, and racking up 52 clean sheets in that span.
Rudiger helped the London outfit to the FA Cup in his first season, followed by the UEFA Europa League in his second season, the UEFA Champions League in 2021, the UEFA SUPER cup, and the FIFA CLUB WORLD CUP.
Amidst Chelsea’s trouble-laden season, the Blues manager has already conceded to losing the German international and begun planning for the star’s departure. Many pundits have expressed concern over the direction of club. For bettors, you can find best new customer betting offers if you, like them, are fearing the worst.
Tuchel Talks to Sky Sports
“He informed me some days ago in a personal talk,” Tuchel told Sky Sports after Sunday’s 1-0 win over West Ham. “We gave everything and now we enter a situation where we can’t fight any more because of the sanctions and now Toni will leave.
“Our hands are tied. I don’t know what would have been the outcome [without the sanctions]. That’s his decision. It’s not a nice one for us but we don’t take it personally.
“He is a key figure and will stay a key figure for us. We will miss him a lot. He is a guy who gives people courage, who people are a bit afraid of. He plays 55 games a season for 90 minutes at an outstanding level.
“He was the top defender in the past one and a half years with me and I have nothing but respect for him.”
Rudiger has his sights set on a transfer to Real Madrid after the real Madrid coach Carlos Ancelotti spoke to the club’s president about reinforcements.
He highlighted the central defense as a position to be bolstered this season, and Rudiger, after a good season since Tuchel’s appointment, has topped the chart.
Rudiger’s agent has lowered the German international wage demand to fit the Spanish giant’s pay structure and scoop a move to the La Liga giants.
Chelsea might also lose Azpilicueta, who reportedly agreed a deal with Barcelona alongside Andreas Christensen. But the blues might hinder their captain’s departure as they also look to improve other positions in the team, including a replacement to the misfiring Romelu Lukaku and the aging Ngolo Kante.