Glen Johnson has admitted he’s surprised Liverpool or Manchester City haven’t made a move for Antonio Rudiger yet. The Chelsea defender is set to leave the club at the end of the season with his contract expiring at Stamford Bridge.
After joining the Blues in 2017 for around £30million, Rudiger endured a mixed time at the club, but his performances under Thomas Tuchel over the past 14 months have always been superb. Many were surprised that Chelsea had already allowed the 29-year-old’s contract to run out until his final year, but due to penalties imposed on Roman Abramovich in March, the club’s hands were tied in terms of a new offer. .
“The situation is that he wants to leave the club,” Tuchel told Sky Sports on Rudiger over the weekend. “He told me about it in a private conversation. We gave it our all – me and the club – but we couldn’t fight anymore because of the actions.
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“Without the sanctions, we would at least be able to keep fighting, but our hands are tied. We’re not taking it personally. It’s his decision.”
Ahead of last month’s sanctions, Chelsea made an offer for Rudiger that would have made him the highest-paid defender in club history, football.london understand. However, the offer clearly did not meet Rudiger’s requirements.
Now, Real Madrid appear to be the favorites to sign Rudiger at the end of the season on what will be a free transfer. According to the Daily Mail, the German defender is set to put pen to paper on a four-year deal at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Manchester United, Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus have also shown interest in the Chelsea defender, but it looks like he’s decided on a move to Madrid. Both Liverpool and Manchester City had very loose ties to Rudiger, but nothing concrete has ever been reported regarding a move to Anfield or the Etihad Stadium – something that surprises former Chelsea right-back Johnson.
“I’m a bit surprised that none of these teams [Liverpool and Manchester City] seemed like a step up for him because the big players available for free don’t come around very often,” Johnson told GGRecon. “But we all know the kind of salary he will demand and he will demand even more than he asked of Chelsea because he is going free.
“Chelsea weren’t willing to break the bank for him and I agree with that. I think if he could get into one of Manchester City’s or Liverpool’s starting XI then I would say Liverpool.
“I would have liked to see him alongside Virgil van Dijk. When he sings he is fantastic, but he has his flaws, so you can’t go broke for that.”
With Rudiger looking set to pack his bags in the summer transfer window, Chelsea will have to dive into the market to replace the defender. Marca report that Jules Kounde is ready to leave Sevilla at the end of the season following strong interest from the Blues last summer.