Antonio Rudiger Chelsea Premier League 2021-22Getty/GOAL

Rudiger to leave Chelsea as Real Madrid lead race to sign Blues defender on free transfer but Man Utd & Barcelona also keen

Antonio Rudiger will leave Chelsea at the end of the season, with Real Madrid leading the race to sign him ahead of the likes of Manchester United and Barcelona, GOAL can confirm.

The defender has turned down the Blues' latest offer to extend his contract, which expires at the end of the season.

And Rudiger is now expected to complete a free transfer move away from Stamford Bridge this summer, with Real Madrid at the front of the queue to sign him.

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Who will sign Rudiger?

Interest in the Germany international has been building for some time, with many of Europe's top teams linked to him throughout the final year of his contract.

Madrid are the team currently leading the race to land the 29-year-old and are in advanced talks with his representatives, GOAL can confirm.

However, United are also still in the picture and are hopeful of convincing him to remain in England by making the switch to Old Trafford.

Barcelona and Juventus are the other teams interested in landing the centre-back.

Why will Rudiger leave Chelsea?

A big factor in Rudiger's decision to leave Chelsea is the uncertainty around the club's ownership.

Chelsea are working closely with the UK government to facilitate a sale following sanctions on current owner Roman Abramovic, but the confusion has put Rudiger's future in doubt.

He was close to signing a new deal that would have made him the highest-paid defender at Chelsea.

The former Roma star wants to have his future decided in the coming weeks, however, and with Chelsea's new owner still to be confirmed, he now looks all but certain to depart the club.

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