The 29-year-old will leave the club for free to join Real Madrid when the summer transfer window opens and his current deal at Stamford Bridge expires, having signed a pre-contract agreement. Rudiger is understood to have rejected the Blues’ first offer of £140,000 per week almost a year ago and has claimed that he was then left in the dark about his future during the autumn.
“Unfortunately, my contract negotiations had already started to get difficult last fall,” the Germany international, who is said to earn £100,000 per week at present, explained in a piece for the Players’ Tribune. “Business is business, but when you don’t hear any news from the club from August to January, the situation becomes complicated. After the first offer, there was a long gap of just nothing.”
Rudiger was reportedly presented with a significantly improved offer of £230,000 per week earlier this year before sanctions were imposed on owner Roman Abramovich in March for his links to Russian president Vladimir Putin. Chelsea were prepared to make the centre-back the highest-paid defender in the club’s history but talks again broke down when it was demanded that the Blues also pay him a huge signing-on fee and his representatives other large sums.
Due to sanctions on Abramovich, Chelsea were unable to resume negotiations and the uncertainty allowed Real Madrid to snap up Rudiger after five years in West London. “We’re not robots, you know? You cannot wait for months with so much uncertainty about your future,” the former Roma and Stuttgart defender added, having made over 200 appearances for the Blues.
“Obviously, no one saw the sanctions coming, but in the end other big clubs were showing interest, and I had to make a decision. I will leave it at that, because business aside, I have nothing bad to say about this club.”
Have your say! Should Chelsea have given in to Rudiger’s demands? Give us your verdict in the comments section.
Rudiger also discussed his predicament following the FA Cup final defeat to Liverpool almost a fortnight ago. “There was a chance [of staying] but sanctions are not the problem. I don’t want to go too deep in things,” he affirmed post-match.
“At the end of the day it’s not only about one side [helping the other], it’s both sides – Chelsea have been great to me, I have been great to Chelsea. As always, I am very, very thankful me, my family. I became a man here. My kids were born here and everything. London and especially Chelsea will always be special to me.”
Prior to their 1-1 draw with Leicester City on Thursday – his penultimate home game for Thomas Tuchel ‘s team – Rudiger was pictured saying farewell to patients and staff at the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in a classy gesture to the local community.