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JUST IN: Chelsea confirm departure of defender, Antonio Rudiger to Real Madrid on free transfer

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Chelsea have confirmed that centre-back Antonio Rudiger has left the club to join Real Madrid on a free transfer after his contract at Stamford Bridge expired.

Speculation over the German’s future was present throughout the majority of last season as Chelsea supporters watched on, hoping to see him sign a new contract. But it did not come and as Thomas Tuchel later admitted, the sanctions placed against Roman Abramovich scuppered any chance of a new deal.

Real Madrid confirmed that Rudiger had signed a four-year contract with the reigning European champions, and would address the media after his official unveiling at the Bernabeu on June 20.

Writing as part of the statement on the club’s official website, Chelsea announced: “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.

“Rudiger made 54 appearances in all competitions in his final campaign, all from the start, more than any other Chelsea player. He departs with 203 appearances and 12 goals to his name, in that time establishing himself as one of the most passionate characters to represent the club in recent memory.

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