Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger has reportedly reached a verbal agreement with Real Madrid over a move to the Bernabeu this summer.
Rudiger, 29, is out of contract at the end of the season and Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has confirmed the central defender is planning to leave on a free transfer.
A number of European football's top clubs have been linked with the Germany international, including Manchester United, Barcelona, PSG and Real Madrid.
According to Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano, Real Madrid have won the race to sign Rudiger.
"Real Madrid have reached verbal agreement with Antonio Rudiger," tweeted Romano.
"Contract not signed yet - but Real Madrid are now closing on Rudiger deal on a free: here we go soon! #RealMadrid. It's gonna be a long-term deal. Final details to be discussed soon, before signing the contract."
Romano later added: "The agreement between Toni Rudiger and Real Madrid has been reached on a four year deal, valid until June 2026. #RealMadrid
"It's matter of final details before signing the contracts. No official announcement before the end of the season, even if Toni will sign in May."
Rudiger has been with Chelsea since 2017 but has stalled on signing a new deal at Stamford Bridge, with the Premier League club reportedly unwilling to match his wage demands.
Tuchel was initially hopeful of convincing Rudiger to remain with the Blues.
However, he has now admitted that the sanctions imposed on club owner Roman Abramovich have made it virtually impossible to keep the defender.
The agreement between Toni Rüdiger and Real Madrid has been reached on a four year deal, valid until June 2026. ⚪️🤝 #RealMadrid— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) April 25, 2022
It’s matter of final details before signing the contracts. No official announcement before the end of the season, even if Toni will sign in May. pic.twitter.com/gnTAv6GYr3
Speaking after Sunday's 1-0 win over West Ham, Tuchel said: "The situation is that he wants to leave the club. He informed me of this in a private talk.
"We gave everything - me and the club - but we could not fight anymore because of the actions.
"Without the sanctions we would at least be able to carry on fighting, but our hands are tied. We don't take it personally. It is his decision.
"He is a key figure and will stay that way until the end of the season. But it is disappointing. We will miss him a lot. He gives courage in the dressing room.
"The kind everyone is afraid of, but the kind to play 50-55 games at an outstanding level. He is a top defender in the last one-and-a-half years for me.
"We then need to find another solution."
Featured Image Credit: PA Images & Fabrizio Romano
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