“We’ll miss him a lot” – Thomas Tuchel confirms Chelsea star that will leave the club at the end of the season

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has confirmed that Antonio Rudiger will be leaving the club at the end of the season.The German defender looks set for a move to Real Madrid.

There has been intense speculation over Rudiger’s future at Stamford Bridge, with the defender having refused to sign Chelsea’s new deal. Independent reports that the 29-year-old turned down an offer that would have made him the highest paid defender in the club’s history.

Tuchel has now confirmed that Rudiger will indeed be leaving Stamford Bridge, having spent five years in west London.The Chelsea boss told Sky Sports after the side’s vital 1-0 victory over West Ham United (via AbsoluteChelsea):

“Toni, the media is on it. The situation is that he wants to leave the club. He informed me of this is in a private talk.”

With the Blues’ current owner Roman Abramovich having been hit with sanctions, restrictions have been imposed on transfer activity and contractual negotiations.This in turn led to a number of teams targeting the German defender, with his contract set to expire at the end of the season.

Tuchel alluded to the sanctions, continuing:

“We gave everything – me and the club – but we could not fight anymore because of the actions. Without the sanctions we would at least be able to carry on fighting, but out hands are tied. We don’t take it personally. It is his decision.”

Tuchel then spoke of the huge loss Rudiger will be to the Blues, adding:

“He is a top defender in the last one and a half years for me. We then need to find another solution. He is a key figure & will stay that way until the end of the season. But it is disappointing. We’ll miss him a lot. He gives courage in the dressing room. The kind everyone is afraid of, but the kind to play 50-55 games at an outstanding level.”

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