Defender Antonio Rudiger has signed for Chelsea from Roma in a deal worth £31 million. The 24 years old has penned a 5 year deal with the Stamford Bridge outfit. Rudiger underwent a medical on Sunday before he finalised his move to the Premier League champions. The initial fee for Rudiger is £31m, but the deal is packed full of additional payments which could take overall fee to £35m.
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) July 9, 2017
After the move, Rudiger told Chelsea’s official website ‘It’s a great feeling because not every player has the opportunity to join a huge club like this. I am looking forward to meeting up with my new team-mates and I’m very proud to officially become a Chelsea player.’ The Blues announced the deal in unique fashion, posting a video on Twitter of a young boy asking his father if he can get Rudiger on back of his Chelsea shirt in the club store. The father replies ‘You know you can’t have the name of someone who hasn’t actually signed yet.’ The young Chelsea fan insists he wants Rudiger’s name on his shirt before the woman working at the Chelsea store goes into another room and asks an off camera figure ‘Excuse me, is it alright if this fan puts your name on the back of his shirt?’ All of a sudden, Rudiger appears and replies ‘No problem, I am a Chelsea player now.’
The completion of Rudiger deal comes as a boost after Conte’s pursuit of other top targets Virgil van Dijk of Southampton and Juventus’ Leonardo Bonucci proved difficult. The Germany international, who played a key role in last week’s Confederations Cup triumph for his country, wanted to leave Italy’s Serie A after suffering racist abuse in the season just finished. Rudiger was subjected to racial taunts from Lazio fans in the Rome derby back in March, so much so that stadium announcer had to plea for calm and in December of last year, Lazio left back Senad Lulic sparked outrage with racial remarks about Rudiger following Roma’s 2-0 win. Lulic told ‘Two years ago, he was selling socks and belts in Stuttgart. Now he acts like he’s some phenomenon.’ Lazio were forced to apologise for Lulic’s comments at the time, but Rudiger was left upset after being repeatedly targeted.