Antonio Rudiger has revealed what went on behind the scenes during his failed contract negotiations with Chelsea as he confirmed he will leave the club at the end of the season.
After five seasons in west London, Rudiger will leave at the end of his contract, playing one final game for the Blues against Watford in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon at Stamford Bridge.
He will get his chance to say goodbye in person, a popular figure at Chelsea, before departing for Real Madrid where he has signed a four-year deal, a switch which will be announced at the end of the season.
Thomas Tuchel wanted to keep the Germany international at the club, but his wish wasn't successful. Chelsea will lose him despite their best efforts.
Talks were held at points, but nothing could be agreed. Sanctions imposed on the club in March meant no new talks could be held, leaving the Blues in an almost impossible position to try to keep him beyond this summer.
Rudiger couldn't wait and scoped out his other options, eventually deciding on Real Madrid.
In an interview with The Players' Tribune where he confirmed his departure in a passionate farewell, Rudiger gave an insight into the difficult negotiations and the waiting around regarding his future in the English capital.
He admitted: "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.
"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."