Real Madrid are set for major disappointment in their pursuit of Antonio Rudiger, with the Chelsea defender deciding that his long-term future lies at Stamford Bridge. It will come as a major boost for the Blues after it looked like they could be losing a key player on a free transfer in the summer.

Rudiger is in the final six months of his deal with Chelsea, and has thus far failed to reach an agreement despite holding talks for a number of months. He is free to talk to clubs outside England, and is even allowed to sign a pre-contract agreement to complete a free transfer in the summer.

The Germany international was not short of suitors, with Real and Ligue 1 club Paris Saint-Germain said to have opened talks with the central defender's agent. Both teams are said to be willing to offer him a lucrative deal to walk away from the reigning European club champions when his contract expires in June.

However, according to Sport Bild's Christian Falk, the Chelsea center-back has decided to reject overtures from the Madrid giants and PSG in order to remain at Chelsea beyond the summer of 2022. There is no agreement in place just yet, and the Blues' offers thus far have been rejected, but they are hoping to hold further talks and reach a compromise in the coming days.

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel will be happy to hear of Rudiger's decision, with the German coach desperate to keep the defender at Stamford Bridge. The former Borussia Dortmund coach revived Rudiger's Chelsea career after he had been cast aside by former manager Frank Lampard.

The 28-year-old has established himself as a key part of Chelsea's backline, even playing a key role in helping the Blues win the Champions League last season. Rudiger again played an important role in helping Chelsea beat Tottenham Hotspur in the semifinals of the Carabao Cup on Wednesday night, after which Tuchel said that the club have a lot to offer the German defender.

"Everybody knows there's a lot of ifs, let's wait what the reality will be. We have things to offer. He is a player in a Chelsea environment and I think he knows it well," Tuchel said, as quoted by the Daily Mail.

Antonio Rudiger
Chelsea's German defender Antonio Rudiger, pictured in early December, says he hopes the offenders will be identified and punished Glyn KIRK/AFP