Chelsea suffer 'massive blow' over £100k-a-week Stamford Bridge star

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Chelsea are set to suffer ‘a massive blow’ when defender Antonio Rudiger departs the club over the summer, according to pundit Carlton Palmer.

The 29-year-old is reportedly set to join Spanish giants Real Madrid on a free transfer when his current contract expires at the end of June after failing to agree terms on a new deal at Stamford Bridge.

What is the latest news involving Rudiger?

According to Transfer guru Fabrizio Romano, Los Blancos have reached a ‘verbal agreement’ with Rudiger, although a contract is ‘not yet signed’ as the final details are yet to be discussed.

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel confirmed to Sky Sports following their recent 1-0 victory over West Ham United that the Germany international intended to seek a new challenge ahead of next term.

“The situation is that he wants to leave the club. He informed me of this in a private talk,” said the 48-year-old tactician.

It’s believed that Rudiger had several offers on the table and that his representatives held talks with Barcelona last month, while he has also been linked with Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus.

Remaining in west London had been an option for the 6 foot 3 ace, but the European champions have been unable to negotiate transfers or contract extensions since March due to the sanctions placed on owner Roman Abramovich.

What has Palmer said about Rudiger?

Rudiger has continued to excel for the Blues despite being in the final year of his £100,000-per-week deal, and Palmer believes his performances under the circumstances ‘says something’ about the player.

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He told GiveMeSport: “It’s a massive blow for Chelsea; it’s a massive blow. And it says something about Rudiger this season, the way he’s played for Chelsea in the last year of his contract.

“And once he gets into the last year of contract, and he’s available on a free, it becomes a different ballgame.”

Who could replace Rudiger at Chelsea?

A recent report in the Daily Mail claims that Seville defender Jules Kounde has paved the way for a move to Chelsea after informing the La Liga outfit’s hierarchy that he is determined to leave the club.

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The France international came close to signing for Tuchel’s charges last summer, but a fee could not be agreed between the two teams.

While academy graduate Levi Colwill has excelled on loan at Huddersfield Town this term, and the 19-year-old could be given an opportunity in the Chelsea first-team during pre-season.

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