Antonio Rudiger hints Chelsea board to blame for imminent Real Madrid free transfer

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Antonio Rudiger has appeared to suggest that the Chelsea hierarchy are to blame for his departure as the German defender prepares to join Real Madrid this summer. The Blues were unable to come to terms on a deal deal with Rudiger, who has been a key performer since Thomas Tuchel took charge.

Although Chelsea were keen to keep hold of Rudiger, the club were unable to partake in contract negotiations due to sanctions imposed on Blues owner, Roman Abramovich, by the UK government. However, in a farewell message Rudiger posted to Chelsea fans, the centre-half has suggested that the club failed to communicate with him before then.

Rudiger told The Players Tribune: “Unfortunately, my contract negotiations had already started to get difficult last fall. 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.”

Reports earlier this month claimed that Rudiger had penned a bumper pre-contract agreement with Real Madrid. The 29-year-old’s deal with the Spanish giants is reportedly set to run until the summer of 2026 and includes a huge €400million (£342.3m) release clause.

Rudiger will bring the curtain down on his five-year stay at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, when the Blues conclude their campaign against Watford in west London. And the former Roma star has admitted that leaving Chelsea is bittersweet, claiming that the club has “meant everything” to him.

He added: “I leave this club with a heavy heart. It has meant everything to me. Even this season, with all the complications, has been enjoyable. Football is football. We are blessed to play a game for a living that we would play for free anyway.

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“In fact, when the financial restrictions were being rumored, we were all laughing about having to take a bus or a smaller plane or whatever to the matches. I mean, a small plane? Oh no!!! What am I going to do?

“Come on. Do you know where I come from? A small plane is still a privilege. Honestly, a bus to Manchester sounds kind of cool. Me and the boys would have made it fun, for sure.

“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.”

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