Talks between Antonio Rudiger and Real Madrid have reportedly broken down in a huge boost to Chelsea’s hopes of keeping the defender at the club.
The German is out of contract at the end of the season and will be allowed to leave on free in the summer if he doesn’t sign an extension.
His future has been up in the air for months following a series of unsuccessful negotiations with the club.
It’s understood that Rudiger wants to be one of Chelsea’s highest earning players and is prepared to leave Stamford Bridge if he isn’t given the pay rise he feels his form over the past year has warranted.
While the 28-year-old is now free to speak to foreign clubs, it appears Real Madrid have pulled out of the running for his signature.
According to Spanish outlet Marca, talks between Rudiger and Los Blancos have broken down and the 13-time Champions League winners have decided not to pursue a deal for the player.
During his press conference ahead of Chelsea’s Carabao Cup semi-final first leg against Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday, Blues boss Thomas Tuchel reiterated his desire to keep Rudiger around.
“I can’t predict the future. I don’t know if his agents are talking with other clubs, now it’s possible. I’m sure he knows how much I rate him – we are in communication with him, the club is trying the very best,” Tuchel said.
Elsewhere, Tuchel hinted that Romelu Lukaku could feature against Tottenham after apologising for comments he made during a recent interview on Italian TV.
On Monday, Chelsea announced that Thiago Silva had signed a one-year extension, keeping him at the club until the end of the 2022/23 season.
However, the futures of Cesar Azpilicueta and Andreas Christensen – who like Rudiger have less than six months left on their deals – are still hanging in the balance.