‘Real Madrid will suit Rudiger very well’ – Chelsea defender tipped by Gallas to leave on free transfer

Antonio Rudiger Chelsea 2021-22Getty Images

Antonio Rudiger is yet to sign a contract extension at Chelsea, and William Gallas can understand why a man who has enjoyed so much success in England may want to go elsewhere.

Leading sides from Europe are monitoring the 29-year-old centre-half who has claimed domestic, continental and global honours across five years at Stamford Bridge.

Former Blues defender Gallas thinks Spain may be the best landing spot for a player of considerable talent and ambition.

Will Rudiger leave Chelsea as a free agent?

Gallas told GOAL, while speaking in association with Genting Casino: “It’s very difficult because I don’t know exactly what he wants. He has already won the Champions League with Chelsea. Maybe for him he will want to have a new challenge and go to another country, another league.

"He has done everything with Chelsea – Champions League, Europa League, Club World Cup, the FA Cup. If I was in his position, maybe I would like to have a new challenge. Football, you only play for 10-15 years and after that, it is finished.

"He must decide what he really wanted when he was a kid. Sometimes players really want to play in a certain league, win trophies in England or Italy, in Spain. If you have the opportunity to do it, after doing so much at Chelsea, maybe he can choose to leave.”

Who will Rudiger join if he leaves Chelsea?

On where Rudiger could end up, Gallas said: “Everyone is talking about him at PSG but at the moment there is still [Presnel] Kimpembe. He is not consistent during the entire season.

"If Rudiger goes to PSG, maybe they will change their system, because I don’t think he will go there and Kimpembe will be on the bench straight away. Sergio Ramos is still there!

“I don’t know what is going to happen at that club. If Rudiger has to move, for me Real Madrid will suit him very well.”

Who will Chelsea sign to replace Rudiger?

If Rudiger is to leave, then a suitable replacement will need to be found in the next transfer window – especially as Andreas Christensen is also heading towards free agency and questions continue to be asked of Cesar Azpilicueta’s future.

Gallas believes France international Jules Kounde could be a good option for the Blues, but he feels big money will need to be spent across the board in order to make Chelsea title contenders again.

He said when asked who could be acquired to replace Rudiger: "Kounde maybe. He has had a good season with Sevilla. If Apzi is going to leave, then they could buy Kounde.

“At the same time, they have to buy a striker and maybe another centre-half if Rudiger is leaving. Malang Sarr has played there but he is not strong enough. He is too soft as a defender, and that was a problem that he already had when he was at Nice.

“They need to think about looking at four or five players for the next season. That is a job for the board to choose the right players because, unfortunately, they haven't chosen the right players.”

Is Lukaku also destined to leave Chelsea?

Romelu Lukaku ChelseaGetty

While Rudiger is edging his way towards the exits at Chelsea, others may be forced out.

A £98 million ($128m) deal for Romelu Lukaku has not worked out as planed, with the Belgian striker registering just 12 goals in 38 appearances, and GOAL has learned the former Inter frontman is wanted back in Italy by AC Milan.

Quizzed on whether the 28-year-old is likely to move on, Gallas – who spent five years with Chelsea and won two Premier League titles – said: “I think so. It’s s shame. He came back to Chelsea and I think he put too much pressure on his shoulders, especially after his interview with the Italian newspaper. It didn’t help him.

“It looks now as though it will be really difficult for him in the rest of the season. He doesn’t score goals. It’s difficult and it looks like he isn’t strong enough in his mind.

“When you put so much pressure on your shoulders, you have to be strong. You have to be ready to accept the pressure, that it will come from everybody – from the media, from the fans, from the club. You have to be ready – ‘okay, I did the interview but I will be strong on the pitch and show you what I can do’. It looks like he can’t do it.”

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