Chelsea confirm Antonio Rudiger's free transfer move to Real Madrid after five trophy-filled years at Stamford Bridge
REAL MADRID have officially signed Antonio Rudiger from Chelsea on a free transfer.
The Germany international's contract with the Blues – who wanted to retain his services – expired this month.
Europen powerhouses Real began sniffing around the centreback in January when it became apparent he wouldn't sign a new deal at Stamford Bridge and have moved quickly to land their man.
An excerpt of a Chelsea statement read: "We bid farewell to Antonio Rudiger as he departs Stamford Bridge with his Chelsea contract expiring, bringing to a close his five trophy-filled years with the club.
"The German defender has left the Blues to join Real Madrid, having played a huge role in our successes in recent seasons."
Rudiger, 29, has inked a four-year deal with last season's Champions League winners and will officially be presented as a Real player on June 20.
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A Real statement read: "Real Madrid C.F. have reached an agreement to sign Antonio Rudiger, who joins the club on a four-year deal.
"Rudiger will be unveiled as a Real Madrid player on Monday 20 June at 12 noon (CET) at Real Madrid City.
"Following his unveiling, he will address the media."
Rudiger is relishing the prospect of playing with the La Liga big boys, who ended Liverpool's hopes of winning a treble last weekend.
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He wrote on Instagram: "I'm proud to announce that I'll be joining @RealMadrid.
"I'm super excited for all the challenges ahead and can't wait to play my first games for this huge club."
Rudiger joined Chelsea from Italian giants Roma in the summer of 2017 for a fee of £29million.
The German quickly became a permanent fixture in the west Londoners' starting XI and went on to make 203 appearances for the club – scoring 12 goals in all competitions.
Rudiger informed Blues boss and countryman Thomas Tuchel of his plans not to pen a new deal in late April.
Tuchel recalled: "When Toni knocks at your door one hour before training, it’s not a good sign.
"Normally he doesn’t knock – he just grabs you in between and tells you something, so everybody thought this is not looking good.
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"Then we had this brief conversation. First of all, I appreciated that he came and told me.
"I was one of the first and that shows me we have a relationship where we handle things directly and honestly and are not afraid to tell each other what we think."
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