Antonio Rudiger will leave Chelsea in the summer and the Germany international has already agreed a four-year contract with Juventus.
Having been deemed almost surplus to requirements by Frank Lampard, Rudiger has been the main benificiary of Chelsea’s decision to replace the club legend with Thomas Tuchel.
The 29-year-old has emerged as the defensive cornerstone of his compatriot’s side and is a popular, authoritative figure in the dressing room.
Rudiger, however, is out of contract at the end of the season and he had been seeking parity with Chelsea’s top earners, long before the UK Government’s decision to seize Roman Abramovich’s assets.
Under the terms of the special license they are currently operating under, Chelsea are unable to negotiate new contracts and, as a result, Rudiger has now taken the decision to leave after nearly five years in west London.
According to Gazzetta dello Sport, Rudiger has now agreed a long-term deal with Juventus, who have been masters of the free transfer market in the past, snapping up the likes of Andrea Pirlo, Aaron Ramsey, Dani Alves and Sami Khedira in the past without paying a fee.
Speaking after Wednesday’s win over Lille in the Champions League, Rudiger was coy on his future, hinting he would not make his decision public until the end of a campaign which could still end in glory for Chelsea.
‘In the case of transfer rumours, it is well known that the media always like to add a little more salt and pepper to make the headline a bit more explosive and bigger,’ he said.
‘Accordingly, you will not hear from me until the day of the final decision. We still have a lot to do at Chelsea this season, and my full focus at the moment is on the City game. My agent is currently taking care of everything else.’