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Real Madrid are hopeful that a move for Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger will be completed in time for next season, according to reports. The 28-year-old will be a free agent in the summer as things stand after failing to sign a new contract at Stamford Bridge despite holding lengthy talks regarding the possibility of an extension over the last few months.
Rudiger has established himself as a key man for Chelsea under the guidance of Thomas Tuchel, featuring heavily on the way to Champions League glory last season.
He formed part of the back three that conceded just twice in the knockout stages of the competition and has continued to play a starring role in the months since.
The Germany international has started in all but one of his side’s Premier League matches this season and is expected to keep his place in the side until at least the end of the campaign.
However, his future in west London remains far from secure, with Real Madrid said to be keen on bringing him to the Bernabeu ahead of next season.
He will be able to sign a pre-contract agreement with a foreign club from next month and it seems as though any hopes of an extended stay at Chelsea are quickly fading away.
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Real Madrid are optimistic that a deal can be thrashed out over the coming weeks to see Rudiger join them in the Spanish capital, according to The Telegraph.
The report claims that Chelsea are yet to receive any encouragement over the player’s future at the club, suggesting that a move elsewhere could be set to emerge as the most likely solution.
He is said to be keen on doubling the £140,000 salary on the table at Stamford Bridge, with Real Madrid ‘willing’ to meet his lucrative demands.
Their players are reportedly expecting the move to go through and are preparing to welcome Rudiger to the Bernabeu ahead of next season.
He will be reunited with former Chelsea team-mates Eden Hazard and Thibaut Courtois if he decides to join Real Madrid, while David Alaba is also said to be a close friend.
Chelsea would prefer to keep Rudiger on their books and are prepared to increase their original offer, but there are concerns over whether being held to ransom will set a dangerous precedent and cause problems in the dressing room.
It remains to be seen whether they can successfully convince Rudiger to stay put or if he will eventually give up on the Blues in favour of a move to La Liga.
Tuchel recently admitted that he was unable to provide an update on the defender’s contract situation but insisted that no player is of greater importance than the club as a whole.
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“We absolutely accept and are fully aware of the importance of Toni and the role that he’s playing on and off the pitch,” the Chelsea boss told reporters earlier this month.
“There is no doubt about that. It’s true that nobody is bigger than the club and this is a team effort and a strong club.
“It’s not only about Toni and I mean that in the best way because we know what he’s doing and we’re fully aware of it.
“In the end, we need a bit of patience. I have no update right now.”
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