Antonio Rudiger denies he's leaving Chelsea because of sanctions
"I don't want to go too deep into things..."
Antonio Rudiger has denied claims that sanctions imposed on Chelsea are the reason behind his imminent departure from Stamford Bridge.
With his contract at the club due to expire in the summer, the German defender is set to sign a four-year deal with Real Madrid, joining the recently crowned Spanish champions on a free transfer.
Chelsea had been in discussions with Rudiger over extending his stay in London prior to Roman Abramovich being hit with sanctions by the UK government in March.
Negotiations over new signings and contract extensions were prohibited under the measures, with Thomas Tuchel saying last month that the situation had been a key factor in Chelsea's inability to keep Rudiger.
Rudiger on leaving Chelsea.
However, speaking after Chelsea's FA Cup defeat to Liverpool, Rudiger insisted the sanctions were not the reason he has decided to move on.
"There was a chance [of staying] but sanctions are not the problem," he told reporters after the game at Wembley. "I don't want to go too deep in things.
"At the end of the day it's not only about one side, it's both sides. Chelsea have been great to me, I have been great to Chelsea.
"As always, I am very, very thankful... me, my family. I became a man here. My kids were born here and everything. London and especially Chelsea will always be special to me.
"It's been five years as normal with ups and downs, but with a lot of positive things.
"That's why I'm even more frustrated because I wanted to have a different ending."
FA Cup final defeat robs Rudiger of winning farewell.
Liverpool clinched victory via a penalty shootout in Saturday's final after 120 goalless minutes against Tuchel's side.
Cesar Azpilicueta missed the first penalty of the shootout, striking the outside of the post with Chelsea's kick. That presented Sadio Mane with the chance to win the trophy, only for his penalty to be saved by international teammate Edouard Mendy.
Chelsea, however, were unable to capitalise on the shift in momentum. Mason Mount saw his penalty saved in sudden death, allowing Kostas Tsimikas to tuck away the decisive spot kick.