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Real Madrid 'ready to take advantage' of Antonio Rudiger's Chelsea standoff


The Chelsea and Germany defender is out of contract next summer, and could be free to talk to potential suitors as soon as January if his situation is not resolved

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Chelsea face the worrying prospect of losing Antonio Rudiger next summer, with the Champions League winning defender yet to agree a contract extension.

The German has regained his place in the first team under Thomas Tuchel, becoming a near ever-present both domestically and in the Blues’ impressive European campaigns, but has yet to resolve his contract situation.

Rudiger will be free to speak to potential suitors after the turn of the year, with Chelsea facing a similar situation when it comes to fellow centre-back Andreas Christensen.

While there is likely to be no shortage of takers for a player of Rudiger’s calibre, reports from Spain suggest Real Madrid in particular are keeping a close eye on the situation.

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Chelsea could end up losing Rudiger for free next summer
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The Spanish league leaders took advantage of the free agency market last summer to bring in David Alaba from Bayern Munich, though they also allowed Sergio Ramos to move to Paris Saint-Germain at the end of his contract.

According to Goal, Rudiger wants a contract worth “€12m clean per season” to move to the Bernabeu, equivalent to roughly £210,000 per week, with Chelsea reportedly unprepared to go that high.

The publication notes that, even with a proposed increase to £140,000 per week, the 28-year-old would still be on less money than the likes of Timo Werner and Kepa despite playing a more prominent role than the pair.

Rudiger has played more than 100 Premier League games for Chelsea since joining from Roma in 2017, but fell out of favour during Frank Lampard’s time in charge.

After playing just three league games under Lampard last season, he featured much more prominently under compatriot Tuchel as the Blues reached the FA Cup final and beat Manchester City in Porto to win the Champions League.

He has remained important to the London club this season, with no other Chelsea player racking up more Premier League minutes than the former Stuttgart man.

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Christensen’s contract standoff has parallels with that of Rudiger, though the Danish international has only made eight league appearances this season compared to his teammate’s 12.

The 25-year-old has been on Chelsea’s books since his teens, having joined the Blues’ academy from Brondby close to a decade ago, and he scored his first goal for the club earlier this season in a 4-0 Champions League group stage victory over Malmo.

With veteran defenders Cesar Azpilicueta and Thiago Silva also out of contract in June, Chelsea face an uncertain few months, though they continue to be linked with moves for a number of top centre-backs including Sevilla’s Jules Kounde.

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