Antonio Rudiger Chelsea Premier League 2021-22Getty/GOAL

Rudiger in verbal agreement to join Real Madrid on lucrative four-year deal ahead of Chelsea departure

Antonio Rudiger is close to joining Real Madrid after giving his word during advanced negotiations over a lucrative four-year contract.

It is unclear exactly what the 29-year-old will earn but it will be a significant pay-rise to his current Chelsea contract and similar to the £200,000-a-week offering from the west London outfit.

It is expected the Spanish giants will get their man after Carlo Ancelotti instructed his club to restart talks after failed negotiations in December.

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When will Rudiger's move become official?

The aim is to complete the talks in the next week after Rudiger got frustrated waiting for Chelsea's takeover to be completed.

The sanctions on the Stamford Bridge club mean they can't renew contracts for any of their players and, despite Thomas Tuchel and other senior staff asking Rudiger to wait until the takeover is complete, he opted to explore one of the many offers on the table.

Ironically, some close to the process believe an answer on a new owner could come this week.

For Rudiger, he will choose Madrid over options that include Manchester United, Barcelona and Juventus, with PSG and Bayern Munich having also previously had negotiations with him.

Los Blancos could wait until the end of the season to announce Rudiger after he gave his word to Tuchel that he will remain focused and professional until the end of the season.

"He has no doubts and has made no doubts about it, he will play until the end of the season with everything he has," Tuchel said after his side's 1-0 win over West Ham this weekend.

"This is what he did from day one, and it's what he will do until the last minute. I am 100 per cent sure."

Who will Chelsea sign to replace Rudiger?

Chelsea do not have the ability to sign players until the ownership situation is resolved. However, the scouting teams continue to operate and Sevilla's Jules Kounde will likely remain a target for whoever comes in.

Chelsea tried to sign Kounde last summer but saw their offers repeatedly snubbed for the France international.

They are also known to be admirers of Leicester City's Wesley Fofana but he has signed a new deal at King Power Stadium.

Similarly, Barcelona's Ronald Araujo was briefly a target but Xavi's team feel they will successfully renew their young defender's deal.

It is likely that Tuchel will want to sign two defenders to replace both Rudiger and Andreas Christensen who is expected to join Barcelona.

That is unless Huddersfield Town loanee Levi Colwill can impress enough in pre-season to force his way into Tuchel's plans.

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