‘Alongside Virgil van Dijk!’ – Antonio Rudiger sent clear transfer message amid Chelsea decision
With Antonio Rudiger deciding to leave Chelsea at the end of the season, former Blues defender Glen Johnson has admitted his shock that Liverpool or Manchester City have not shown any interest
Glen Johnson has admitted he is surprised that Liverpool or Manchester City have not made a move for Antonio Rudiger yet. The Chelsea defender is set to leave the club at the end of the season with his contract due to expire at Stamford Bridge.
After joining the Blues in 2017 for around £30million, Rudiger has endured a mixed time at the club, but his performances under Thomas Tuchel in the past 14 months have been consistently superb. Many have been left surprised that Chelsea had already allowed the 29-year-old’s contract to run down to its final year, but due to the sanctions imposed on Roman Abramovich in March, the club have had their hands tied in terms of a further offer.
“The situation is what he wants to leave the club,” Tuchel said on Rudiger to Sky Sports at the weekend. “He informed me of this in a private talk. We gave everything – me and the club – but we could not fight anymore because of the actions.
“Without the sanctions, we would at least be able to carry on fighting, but our hands are tied. We don’t take it personally. It is his decision.”
Before last month’s sanctions were put in place, Chelsea made an offer to Rudiger that would have made him the highest-paid defender in the club’s history, football.london understands. The offer clearly did not meet Rudiger’s demands, though.
Now, Real Madrid appear to be the front-runners to sign Rudiger at the end of the season on what will be a free transfer. According to the Daily Mail, the German defender is close to putting pen to paper on a four-year contract at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Manchester United, Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus have also shown an interest in the Chelsea defender, but it looks as if he has made his mind up about a move to Madrid. Liverpool and Manchester City both had very loose links with Rudiger, but nothing concrete was ever reported regarding a move to Anfield or the Etihad Stadium – something that surprises former Chelsea right-back Johnson.
“I am a bit surprised that neither of those teams [Liverpool and Manchester City] seemed to make a move for him because great players available on a free don’t come around very often,” Johnson said to GGRecon. “But we all know the type of wages he will be demanding and he will be demanding even more than he asked Chelsea for because he’s leaving on a free.
“Chelsea weren’t willing to break the bank for him and I agree with that. I think if he could get into one of Manchester City or Liverpool’s starting 11s, then I’d say Liverpool.
“I’d have liked seeing him alongside Virgil van Dijk. When he’s on song he’s fantastic, but he does have his faults, so you cannot break the bank for that.”
With Rudiger looking set to pack his bags in the summer transfer window, Chelsea will have to dive into the market for a replacement for the defender. Marca are reporting that Jules Kounde is ready to leave Sevilla at the end of the season following firm interest from the Blues last summer.