It's deja vu all over again for Real Madrid, who have signed Antonio Rudiger from Chelsea for free on a four-year deal. It was reported by Sky Sports that the German defender has agreed to a contract until 2026 with the new Champions League winners, during which time he would earn €400,000-a-week.
June 20 will be the day when the 29-year-old German international will be revealed to the public at the Bernabeu Stadium in Madrid. It is the sixth time in the last 15 years that a player has gone straight from the Blues to the Whites.
Next season, he will reunite with Eden Hazard and Thibaut Courtois, both of his ex-colleagues in London. The Belgian midfielder was the most recent one who made the switch from Stamford Bridge to Santiago Bernabeu in 2019 for a reported cost of €115 million.
The kit number Antonio Rudiger would wear at Real Madrid
After his official formal presentation, it would be time to choose a jersey number for the German international defender. This begs the issue of what Rudiger's Real Madrid squad number may be in Spain's capital.
Since leaving Roma for the Premier League giants in the summer of 2017, Rugider opted to continue wearing the No. 2 jersey he had previously donned for two seasons in Serie A. Meanwhile, at Chelsea, for the majority of the last decade, the No. 2 jersey belonged to club legend Branislav Ivanovic.
However, it became vacant since the Serbian departed six months earlier to join Zenit St. Petersburg. No matter how much Rudiger would want to wear the same kit number, he won't be able to get his hands on it, as Madrid stalwart Dani Carvajal has it.
In other words, the 28-year-old now has three options: Gareth Bale's former number, No. 18, No. 22 - vacant after Isco's confirmed exit, or Marcelo's former number, No. 12. Since Spanish midfielder Isco has confirmed that he will depart Los Blancos in the summer, the no. 22 will be up for grabs.
Even No. 5 would be an appropriate squad number for a defender. However, in order for him to receive it, Jesus Vallejo would have to find a new team during the upcoming transfer window.