Real Madrid’s latest addition, Antonio Rudiger, has revealed that he had the chance to join Barcelona but turned them down in favour of Los Blancos.
Speaking at his official unveiling as a Real Madrid player (h/t MARCA), Antonio Rudiger has claimed that Barcelona made overtures to sign him this summer but he snubbed the Blaugrana as he had his heart set on a move to the Santiago Bernabeu.
Rudiger had been one of the most in-demand players on the market this summer as his contract with Chelsea was set to run down, and he decided not to pen a new deal with the west London outfit.
A host of clubs from England and across Europe had expressed serious interest in signing Rudiger and had held talks with the German international’s agent and brother about a possible move. One such club who were keen on landing the former AS Roma centre-half were Barcelona.
The Blaugrana are looking for defensive reinforcements this summer and have a deal in place to sign Andreas Christensen already. They are also working on a deal to sign Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta but also wanted to add Rudiger to their roster.
"I told my brother it's Real or nothing" 🤷♂️
Antonio Rudiger reveals he rejected an approach from Barcelona before joining Real Madrid. pic.twitter.com/eTJpK9OQrj
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) June 20, 2022
Now, the 29-year-old has confirmed that Barcelona were indeed interested and had made an approach, only for him to snub the Catalan giants in favour of Real Madrid. “There was [a call] from Barcelona,” Rudiger said during the press conference after his unveiling on Monday. But I told my [agent] it was Real Madrid or nothing.”
Rudiger went on to reveal that speaking with Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti convinced him to join the reigning Spanish and European champions as a free agent.
“The first time I got in contact, not myself but through my agent, was early September the first time,” Rudiger said. “The second time was when I spoke with Ancelotti in April. I think that was the most important moment, to speak with Ancelotti and then I made my choice to play for this club and under him.”
Rudiger became Real Madrid’s first official signing of the summer transfer window, which was followed by the recruitment of Aurelien Tchouameni from AS Monaco in a deal worth around €100 million.