Real Madrid are on the verge of securing their first signing of the new season, in the form of Antonio Rudiger, reports Fabrizio Romano.
The reliable Italian journalist has given his “here we go” for the club’s pursuit of the Chelsea centre-back, who has reached a verbal agreement with Los Blancos ahead of a Bosman move in the summer.
Rudiger is yet to physically pen a contract, but his representatives had met with Real Madrid’s hierarchy, where a verbal agreement has been reached.
The report comes a day after Thomas Tuchel officially confirmed the departure of the German at the end of the season. The Chelsea manager revealed the two parties could not reach an agreement over a new contract and will depart Stamford Bridge on a free transfer.
Romano adds Rudiger has agreed a long-term contract, though the exact details of the deal are still being worked on, with both parties optimistic about finalising the agreement in the near future.
Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain, and Juventus were some of the other clubs involved in the pursuit of the German international, but the race was won by Real Madrid, who are prepared to offer him a key defensive role alongside Eder Militao and David Alaba.
Rudiger himself has stated his desire to play for Los Merengues in the past, so his decision to move to Santiago Bernabeu this summer could hardly be a surprise.
The addition of the former Borussia Dortmund starlet could prove to be a massive boost for Carlo Ancelotti, who has struggled with his side’s lack of depth in the central defensive unit.
With almost 200 competitive appearances for Chelsea, Rudiger offers vast experience at the highest level of football. It is combined with his dogged defensive philosophy and leadership that could be pivotal in Real Madrid’s bid to restore their lost glory next season.
Real Madrid veteran tipped to stay at club by ex-star: “His wish is to renew”
Real Madrid are in for a busy summer ahead. While the club are expected to undergo a massive squad overhaul, they are also facing pressure to renew the contracts of some of the most established players in the squad.
Luka Modric is among the list of veterans, who have their contracts expiring at the end of the season. At the age of 37, there has understandably been a layer of uncertainty over his future at Santiago Bernabeu, especially amid interest from Saudi Arabian entities.
The Saudi league has reportedly offered Modric the opportunity to join any club of his choice in the Middle East nation, with a two-and-a-half-year contract worth €40 million per season.
But in a recent media interaction, Predrag Mijatovic, former Real Madrid player and close friend of Modric, has backed the veteran Croat to continue at Santiago Bernabeu.
“When Luka Modric is well, Real Madrid plays much better. His wish is to renew one more year,” said Mijatovic (h/t El Larguero), who played for Real Madrid from 1996 to 1999, featuring in 118 competitive matches for the club.
Mijatovic’s comments confirm recent reports suggesting how Modric is leaning towards a prolonged stay at Bernabeu. It appears the ageing midfielder has no desire to accept the lucrative terms coming from Saudi Arabia just yet.
The former Tottenham star is confident of his abilities to continue at the highest level for at least another year before he can the next and final step in his career.
Since joining Real Madrid in 2012, Modric has featured in 462 competitive matches, racking up 36 goals and 74 assists. His contributions have been crucial to the club’s success over the past decade. Whether or not the midfielder is now willing to extend his stay for a further year remains to be seen.