Antonio Rudiger has confirmed he will leave Chelsea this summer and says his decision to join Real Madrid came after a period of silence from the Blues over a new contract offer.
Germany defender Rudiger has agreed a four-year deal with Real Madrid and will join the Spanish champions as a free agent at the end of the season.
Thomas Tuchel wanted Rudiger to stay at Stamford Bridge and Chelsea were willing to make the 29-year-old the highest paid defender in the club’s history.
But Rudiger says Chelsea waited too long to begin talks and months of silence convinced him to part ways with the club after five years.
‘Unfortunately, my contract negotiations had already started to get difficult last fall,’ Rudiger wrote in 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. We’re not robots, you know? You cannot wait for months with so much uncertainty about your future.
‘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.’
Rudiger is a firm fans’ favourite at Stamford Bridge, having played more than 200 games for Chelsea and helping the club win five major trophies, including the Champions League.
On his imminent exit, Rudiger added: ‘Chelsea will always be in my heart. London will always be my home. I came here alone, and now I have a wife and two beautiful kids.
‘I also have a new brother for life named Kova. I have an FA Cup, a Europa League and a Champions League medal. And of course, I have hundreds of memories that will stay with me forever.
‘I leave this club with a heavy heart. It has meant everything to me. I will always be Chelsea. Thank you, Rudi.’
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