Roy Keane has taunted his former side Manchester United by claiming Antonio Rudiger will have turned them down because he “wants to win some trophies”. Rudiger will leave Chelsea at the end of his contract this summer and is expected to join Real Madrid on a free transfer.
Ahead of United’s match at home to the Blues on Thursday, Keane was asked by Sky Sports colleague Jamie Redknapp if he would have liked to have seen Rudiger move to the Red Devils instead. But the former Republic of Ireland midfielder couldn’t help take a dig at his old club.
Keane replied: “I guess they probably did [approach him]. I think they have done but he’s thought ‘No, I want to win some trophies'”.
Rudiger has been one of the best defenders in the Premier League this season. However, the Blues have been unable to match his wage demands, partly because of the sanctions imposed on the club by the UK Government.
Asked how big a blow Rudiger’s departure will be to Chelsea, Keane added: “Huge loss, huge loss, obviously for what he does on the football pitch. He’s a big character, very, very good player of course.
“But I reckon what he brings to the dressing room and on the training ground day in, day out, he’s going to be a big loss to them. He’s been outstanding this season, the fact his contract’s been up.
“Obviously that’s probably motivated him as well to get a better deal, it’s not worked out at Chelsea for obvious reasons with sanctions etc. But he’s got a great move and I have no doubt about him, he’ll finish the season strongly, he just seems that type of character.”
Speaking ahead of the trip to United, Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel says he and others at the club must accept Rudiger’s decision to move on. Tuchel said: “I don’t think anybody likes it.
“He gives everybody confidence in the dressing room. He is a unique character and plays on an outstanding level. He sometimes takes the focus towards him, he loves responsibility.
“Nobody likes this decision but we have to accept it. Like it or not there will be life at Chelsea after Toni. It is also the most important thing for us that it ends like it started, on the highest level.”
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