Chelsea has completed the signing of Germany defender Antonio Rudiger from Roma on a five-year contract for an initial fee of £29m.
The fee for Rudiger could also rise to £33.3m through add-on clauses. He initially joined Roma on a season-long loan from Stuttgart, and will help fill the void left by John Terry’s departure for Aston Villa under freedom of contract.
Chelsea manager Antonio Conte, who aimed to either Virgil van Dijk or Leonardo Bonucci to Stamford Bridge, was forced to switch targets due to the valuations placed on those players by Southampton and Juventus respectively.
As comparison, Rudiger, who Roma an initial £3.5m plus a further £7.9m when making his move permanent last summer, was a more distinct and attractive option as Conte seeks reinforcement upon the back line for the Premier League winners, who would also be joining the Champions League in Europe after a season-long hiatus.
Rudiger made the switch just one week after helping Germany win the FIFA Confederations Cup, and the 24-year-old said that he felt positive about his move to join the Premier League champions.
“It’s a great feeling because not every player has the opportunity to join a huge club like this,” said Rudiger. “I am looking forward to meeting up with my new team-mates and I’m very proud to officially become a Chelsea player.”
However, because he was set to take a break after his involvement in the Confederations Cup, Rudiger is unlikely to be involved when the majority of Antonio Conte’s squad return to pre-season training on Monday.