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Real Madrid the favourites to sign Rudiger on a free

Real Madrid have been tracking Chelsea centre-back Antonio Rudiger for some time, and now it looks like they are closer than ever to signing him.

The German international has been a stalwart for the London club since his arrival from Roma in 2017, while he has taken his game to another level under Thomas Tuchel, who does not want him to leave.

However, the Athletic reports that Rudiger is ready for a new challenge and has stalled contract talks, making him free to talk to foreign clubs from January 1, 2022, and sign a deal to join in the summer on a free.

Money talks

Sources suggest that Rudiger is currently on 105,000 euros (90,000 pounds) but is holding out for closer to 230,000 euros (200,000 pounds).

With Chelsea and Rudiger unable to find a number that suits both parties, he looks set to move on, which will be welcome news for those at Real Madrid.

There is still a small chance that Rudiger renews with Chelsea, but he looks closer to the exit than ever.

Success at Chelsea

Rudiger was key in Chelsea's 2021 Champions League triumph, the first of the German's career.

On top of that he won the 2019 Europa League and has one FA Cup and UEFA Super Cup under his belt at Chelsea.

Having signed in 2017, Rudiger might feel that this is the perfect time to try and win more silverware abroad, as he approaches his 29th birthday in March 2022.

Where will Rudiger fit in at Real Madrid?

Real Madrid fans will be excited at the possibility of seeing Rudiger line up alongside David Alaba and Eder Militao in the heart of Los Blancos' defence.

Militao has been in fine form under Carlo Ancelotti so far this season and Rudiger would have to impress instantly to dislodge either the Brazilian or his Austrian centre-back partner.

Signing Rudiger would give Real Madrid defensive cover, something that they have lacked for the past few seasons. A player of the German's quality would only improve the depth and talent available to Ancelotti.

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