A major update on the future of Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger has been revealed on Friday evening.
The news, for those hopeful of the German international remaining in west London beyond the summer, though, will come as a major blow.
Rudiger, as things stand, is of course primed to depart Chelsea as a free agent upon the campaign's conclusion. Those in a position of power at the club have therefore long been hard at work in a bid to tie their star defender down to fresh terms.
Such efforts, according to Italian transfer expert Gianluca Di Marzio, however, look set to come up short.
This comes amid the assurance that, in fact, Rudiger is on the verge of putting pen to paper on a pre-contract agreement with Spanish giants Real Madrid.
Should Di Marzio's report prove accurate, and the stopper opt to take his talents to the Bernabeu, then Real will have beaten out competition from not only Chelsea, but also Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain in the Rudiger sweepstakes.
The latest word on Rudiger's future of course comes with the former AS Roma standout primed to sit out when Chelsea return to action in just shy of 48 hours' time.
On the back of a third successive home defeat during the week, the Blues are set to welcome capital rivals West Ham to Stamford Bridge on Sunday, eyeing a much-needed return to winning ways.
Rudiger, though, will play no part in proceedings, with Thomas Tuchel having confirmed this afternoon that both his fellow countryman and midfielder Mateo Kovacic have been ruled out of the derby clash owing to injury.
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