Antonio Rudiger set to become highest paid defender ever by leaving Chelsea

Antonio Rudiger is set to make himself one of the highest paid defenders ever with a £400,000 pay packet abroad.

The 28-year-old Chelsea defender, one of the most influential figures within the European Champions’ ranks, is out of contract at the end of the season.

Bayern Munich and Juventus, famed for snapping up top-class stars on free transfers, are both keen on his services and are understood to have a monster pay packet waiting once negotiations with foreign clubs are allowed to begin in January.

Fans favourite Rudiger is keeping his options open after being offered a new deal by Chelsea worth just £130,000-a-week. Striker Romelu Lukaku, the same age as the centre-back, is currently being paid £350,000-a-week.

Despite Rudiger’s key role in landing the Champions League in May – Chelsea lifted the trophy with the best defence in the competition – the deal was offered to his representatives post-season with a deadline of the end of the summer to agree.

Rudiger’s camp stood their ground and are now ready to listen to offers directly with rival European clubs at the Club World Cup in January which is expected to be taken away from Japan and moved to Abu Dhabi.

Bayern boss Julian Nagelsmann has already admitted this week he is monitoring Rudiger’s contract situation with interest.

He said: “I’m generally not a big fan of talking about players who are under contract elsewhere, and besides, we’re outside the transfer period.

“I’m talking about him now as a football fan because he is a German senior international.

“He has made a super development. Thomas [Tuchel] has handled him extremely well – he was still on the sidelines at Chelsea a year ago and is now certainly one of their most decisive players.

Rudiger, however, has maintained he is continuing to focus on his football with Chelsea top of the league and hot favourites to add the Premier League title to their Champions League crown.

He said: “For me, this will be the most important decision of my professional career, so I won’t rush anything. Personally, I haven’t spoken to any club other than Chelsea.”

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