Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger is reportedly getting even closer to an exit from Stamford Bridge.
According to Goal’s Mario Cortegana, Rudiger has declined another extension offer from the Blues worth around €8 million ($9 million) and that there are multiple teams such as Real Madrid who are heavily interested in stealing him away.
Chelsea has long been trying to convince Rudiger to sign an extension with them as he provides an important presence in the backfield, to the point that they have even prioritized re-signing him over trying to get Raphael Varane during the summer transfer window, who went to Manchester United instead.
Rudiger went to Chelsea in the summer of 2017 from AS Roma on a five-year, £29 million ($38.5 million) deal with an increased role under Thomas Tuchel’s guidance since then.
The 28-year-old is understandably looking for his last big payday as he is nearing the tail end of his prime.
Chelsea’s most recent offer to Rudiger is relatively decent for a player of his caliber but will still have him earn less than teammates like Marcos Alonso, Timo Werner and Kai Havertz.
With the loss of Varane, Real Madrid is looking for a new central defender that can play a variety of roles which includes being a body that can fly through the air and go after the ball every single time.
The backfield at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium currently includes Eder Militao, David Alaba and Nacho, a highly potent backfield but lacks the explosiveness of someone like Rudiger.
The outlet Goal also named Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain as other prospective teams that are going after Rudiger in the summer window of 2022.
There are no reports yet that indicate whether they will try to sell Rudiger in the upcoming January transfer window in order to recoup some funds instead of losing him for free in the summer.
The likelihood of that happening is minuscule since Rudiger is playing very well for Tuchel’s Chelsea, helping them maintain their stranglehold on the top spot of the English Premier League--a point ahead of second-place Manchester City.
Through 12 appearances in the Premier League, Rudiger helped the defense put up seven clean sheets and a tackle success percentage of 55 percent, even scoring two goals in the process.
Rudiger and Chelsea are next set to face Watford on Wednesday, December 1 away from home.