Rudiger says "business is business" in message to Chelsea fans before leaving

Antonio Ruidger has said "business is business" in a message to Chelsea and the club's fans ahead of his move to Real Madrid this summer.

The German defender will join the Spanish giants once his Chelsea contract expires at the end of the season, with his exit from Stamford Bridge already confirmed. Chelsea had hoped to tie Rudiger down to a new deal but the drawn out contract negotiations proved to be in vain.

Ahead of his final match for the club at home to Watford on Sunday, Rudiger has penned an open message to the club and its fans.

His piece in The Players' Tribune includes anecdotes about team-mate N'Golo Kante and the club's Champions League triumph last season.

However, when discussing his contract situation, Rudiger explains: “Unfortunately, my contract negotiations had already started to get difficult last fall.

"Business is business, but when you don’t hear any news from the club from August to January, the situation becomes complicated.

"After the first offer, there was a long gap of just nothing. We’re not robots, you know? You cannot wait for months with so much uncertainty about your future.

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"Obviously, no one saw the sanctions coming, but in the end, other big clubs were showing interest, and I had to make a decision. I will leave it at that, because business aside, I have nothing bad to say about this club.”

Rudiger's exit was effectively sealed when sanctions placed on owner Roman Abramovich meant that the club were not allowed to extend the contracts of their players, confirming the 29-year-old would be out of contract this summer.

The former Stuttgart defender joined the Blues back in 2017 from Roma and has gone on to make 202 appearances for the club in his five years in England.

It appeared Rudiger may be out of the door last season before experiencing a resurgence following Thomas Tuchel's arrival in January 2021.

He has since won the Champions League and Club World Cup with Chelsea, following previous FA Cup and Europa League triumphs earlier in his time with the club.

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