Antonio Rudiger to Real Madrid: Chelsea center-back set to join Los Blancos on free transfer

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Real Madrid and Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger have reached a deal for the German defender to join Los Blancos on a free transfer this summer, according to CBS soccer insider Fabrizio Romano and multiple reports in Europe. The player is set to sign a four-year contract, ESPN reports.

The 29 year old former Stuttgart and Roma man has excelled for the Blues since joining in 2017, playing a pivotal role in the club winning the UEFA Champions League last season (catch all the Champions League action on Paramount+). This current season has also seen him improve on his numbers going forward, scoring five goals this campaign, including one at Real Madrid in their Champions League quarterfinal second leg. 

His arrival would fill a void in Carlo Ancelotti’s team following the departures of Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane last summer. Los Blancos have Eder Militao leading the backline and landed David Alaba on a free last summer, with the Rudiger move providing incredible depth while also allowing the manager to use Alaba elsewhere, like at the player’s preferred left back position if desired. In turn, this move also gives Ancelotti the chance to use Nacho at full back rather than center-back.

For Chelsea, with the Blues also expected to lose Andreas Christansen on a free transfer, it leaves them thinner at the back and could result in more minutes for Trevor Chalobah and Malang Sarr. The club, due to sanctions on outgoing owner and Russina oligarch Roman Abramovich, are not allowed to make any new signings in the summer as things stand now, though that is expected to change by season’s end with the club on the verge of being sold. 

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