Antonio Rudiger responds to Chelsea contract offer and makes final decision on his future

Antonio Rudiger has rejected Chelsea’s final offer of a contract worth £200,000-a-week and will leave the club in the summer.

The Germany international joined the west London club in the summer of 2017 from Roma in a £29million transfer.

Rudiger struggled to convince Frank Lampard of his worth and came close to leaving the club last season having been effectively deemed surplus to requirements.

The appointment of Thomas Tuchel, however, completely transformed Rudiger’s Chelsea career and he has become an integral part of his compatriot’s side.

Rudiger has been seeking parity with Chelsea’s highest paid stars but their final offer has fallen short of the salary he feels his status as one of the Premier League’s best defenders merits.

Real Madrid and Barcelona are keen on signing the combative defender but Bayner Munich have shelved their interest given Rudiger’s age and salary demands.

Manchester United remain an option and the player’s agent, Saif Rubie, dropped a hint that the Red Devils remained in the running for his services with a cryptic message on Instagram earlier this week.

Alongside a picture of Sir Alex Ferguson, Rubie wrote: ‘Let’s see If I can help revive this sleeping giant.’

Chelsea will now begin work on securing a replacement for their defensive linchpin and, according to the Daily Telegraph, will make a fresh move for Sevila’s Jules Kounde.

The France international came close to joining the Champions League holders last summer, but the move fell through at the last minute after Chelsea felt they had agreed a fee in the region of £60million.

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