Antonio Rudiger reveals Barcelona transfer interest as former Chelsea FC star is unveiled by Real Madrid

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 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Antonio Rudiger has revealed there was interest from Barcelona as he prepared to leave Chelsea.

The German international snubbed the chance to become the highest-paid defender in Stamford Bridge history before sealing a free transfer to Real Madrid.

Thomas Tuchel admitted Chelsea did all they could do to keep the 29-year-old but could not convince him to stay due to the sanctions imposed on former owner Roman Abramovich.

A key player in the team who lifted the Champions League in 2021, Rudiger had recovered from a difficult time of things under Frank Lampard and went on to establish himself as one of Europe’s leading defenders.

Signing a four-year-contract in the Spanish capital, the former AS Roma defender had previously revealed contact from Madrid started back in the autumn, describing discussions with Carlo Ancelotti as “welcoming”.

Speaking at his official unveiling in Madrid at the club’s Valdebebas training ground, Rudiger revealed rivals Barcelona had attempted to sign him.

Former teammate Andreas Christensen is still waiting to see his move from Stamford Bridge to the Camp Nou confirmed, while Marcos Alonso and Cesar Azpilicueta are waiting to see if they can join Barca too.

“The first time I got in contact, not really me, my agent, was early September,” said Rudiger, who will wear the squad No.22.

“The second time, I spoke with Mr Ancelotti, was in April. That was the most important moment. That was when I made my choice. I wanted to play for this club under him.

“There was interest from Barcelona but I told my brother, it’s Real or nothing.”

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