• Antonio Rudiger's contract is due to expire in 2022
  • He has been linked with quite a few European clubs
  • Real Madrid are favorites to sign Rudiger 

Antonio Rudiger is reportedly close to moving from Chelsea to Real Madrid as a free agent.

Rudiger, whose current contract is due to end in the 2022 summer, has rejected a new deal from Chelsea that would see him earn a weekly wage of around $210,043, reported The Telegraph.

Apart from Real Madrid, Bayern Munich are also interested in landing Rudiger, who is one of the best center-backs at present. However, Los Blancos are more likely to meet the German defender’s salary demands than the Bundesliga club, according to Marca.

Rudiger has also been linked with a move to Manchester United as the Red Devils are looking for a stronger central defense partner for their summer signing Raphael Varane.

A move to Real Madrid will also reunite Rudiger with his former Chelsea teammates Thibaut Courtois and Eden Hazard. Considering Rudiger’s current market value is around $39 million, according to Transfermarkt, securing him on a free transfer would be a real steal for the La Liga giants.

Rudiger, who earns around $134,079-a-week, as per his current contract, had come close to leaving Chelsea in the past. He had earlier admitted that Thomas Tuchel's arrival as Frank Lampard's replacement played an important role in keeping him in West London.

Even though Tuchel desperately wants Rudiger to stay at Stamford Bridge, it looks unlikely that he will beyond this season. Apart from Rudiger, Chelsea are on the verge of losing more key players as Thiago Silva, Cesar Azpilicueta and Andreas Christensen all have just six months left on their deals too.

Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger (centre) believed he was the victim of racist chanting during his side's 2-0 win at Tottenham last month
Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger (centre) believed he was the victim of racist chanting during his side's 2-0 win at Tottenham last month AFP / Adrian DENNIS

Considering Chelsea are going slowly with their contract extensions, you can expect the European champions to have a busy run at the winter and summer markets in 2022.

It is believed that Chelsea are planning to bring Hazard back to Premier League. The Belgian star, who left the Blues to join Real Madrid in the summer of 2019, has had a poor run in the Spanish capital. It has been reported that Los Blancos have agreed to return Hazard back to Chelsea but they have asked for right-back Reece James in return.

While Real Madrid are eight points clear at the top of La Liga table, Chelsea have fallen behind in the title race in Premier League. Tuchel’s side is placed third in the league table with 41 points, six behind leaders Manchester City.