Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger has decided not to extend his stay in the Premier League after rejecting the new offer from The Blues. The German defender is in the final seven months of his contract with the West London club and has thus far refused to extend his deal.

Real Madrid are the leading contenders for Rudiger's signature, with the Spanish club optimistic about landing him on a free transfer when his contract expires next June. The Germany international will be allowed to talk to clubs outside England when the winter transfer window opens in January.

According to Goal, the Madrid giants have made signing Rudiger a priority, with Carlo Ancelotti keen to strengthen his backline next summer. Real lost Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane this year, and have not replaced their two former mainstays at centre back. David Alaba was the sole arrival, who also came on a free transfer from Bayern Munich.

Chelsea are keen to retain Rudiger beyond next summer, and have been in talks with the German and his representatives for a number of months. The last offer The Blues made was in the region of €8 million (£7m) per season, but the defender has rejected it, as it will see him earn less than the likes of Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Kepa Arrizabalaga, Marcos Alonso, Timo Werner and Thiago Silva.

The 28-year-old defender will not be short of suitors should he decide to leave the reigning champions of Europe. Apart from Real, Bavarian giants Bayern Munich and Ligue 1 outfit Paris Saint-Germain are also keen on his signature, which could see him command much higher wages along with a hefty signing on fee.

Thomas Tuchel remains hopeful that the Germany international will commit his long-term future to the Stamford Bridge outfit. The German manager has made it clear that Rudiger remains a key part of his plans going forward and feels that the contract saga will have a "good ending".

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