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Seven surprising Premier League signings Real Madrid made amid Antonio Rudiger agreement

It looks like Florentino Perez’s Real Madrid have won the race to sign Antonio Rudiger on a free transfer this summer.

The German international’s contract at Stamford Bridge expires at the end of June and transfer expert Fabrizio Romano has claimed that the Chelsea centre-back will sign a four-year deal with Los Blancos.

Rudiger’s arrival at the Santiago Bernabeu will make it consecutive summer transfer windows where the La Liga giants have signed one of the world’s best defenders as a free agent.

Last summer, David Alaba arrived from Bayern Munich in a window where Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane both left the club.

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Rudiger had attracted interest from several of Europe’s top clubs, but after already playing in Germany, Italy and England, the 29-year-old will embark on a new chapter in Spain.

The former Roma defender will link up with former Blues teammates Thibaut Courtois and Eden Hazard who have experienced contrasting fortunes since moving to the Spanish capital.

Courtois, who had already experienced playing in Madrid during his time at Atletico, has been a success while his compatriot Hazard has failed to ignite his Madrid career or live up to the hype his big-money move promised.

But here we take a look at seven surprising signings Real Madrid made via the Premier League…

Thomas Gravesen

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The Denmark international was signed by Madrid in January 2005 from Everton when the Galacticos era was in full flow.

Gravesen was playing in an all-star side which contained the likes of Casillas, Roberto Carlos, Zidane, Figo, Beckham, Raul and Ronaldo.

In a side brimming with world-class talent, Gravesen was brought in to bolster the midfield and add some steel.

He made 49 appearances for Real Madrid before moving to Celtic in August 2006.

Jerzy Dudek

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The Polish stopper joined Madrid on a free transfer in July 2007 and became Iker Casillas’ understudy across a four-year period before retiring in the summer of 2011.

The former Liverpool man only made 12 appearances for the Spanish giants and eight of those came via the early rounds of the Copa del Rey.

Lassana Diarra

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After struggling to establish himself as a regular at either Chelsea or Arsenal, the tough-tackling Frenchman rebuilt his burgeoning reputation under Harry Redknapp at Portsmouth.

The midfielder had only been at Fratton Park for four months after signing in January 2008, but he played a starring role in helping Pompey win a historic FA Cup.

Diarra hadn’t even been at Portsmouth a year before Madrid came calling in the 2009 January window. Diarra went on to make 116 appearances at Madrid across a four-year period, and played under the likes of Jose Mourinho and Manuel Pellegrini.

Julien Faubert

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Got to be up there with one of the worst and most bizarre pieces of transfer business of all time, although Madrid didn’t pay a transfer fee.

The Frenchman wasn’t even at the peak of his powers at West Ham United, but Faubert joined Los Blancos on transfer deadline day in January 2009.

The right-back made just two substitute appearances in La Liga which amounted to 54 minutes of game time.

Emmanuel Adebayor

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The Togo international was only in the Spanish capital for six months following his loan spell from Manchester City, but he was firmly part of Madrid’s plans while he was there.

Adebayor scored eight goals during his time at Madrid, two of which came against Tottenham, who he would go on to join, in a Champions League quarter-final first leg.

He also scored a hat-trick against Almeria in La Liga in what was his last appearance for the club.

Michael Essien

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The Ghanaian was one of Mourinho’s key players during his first stint in charge at Stamford Bridge, but long-term injuries began to take there toll on the all-action midfielder.

Essien linked up with the Portuguese on a season-long loan in Spain for the 2012/13 campaign, but he looked a shadow of his former imposing and dominant self.

He made 35 appearances during his loan spell, 31 of which were starts.

Javier Hernandez

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The ‘Little Pea’ only made 12 starts during his season-long loan in the Spanish capital from Manchester United in 2014/15.

But as the Mexican has so often done throughout his career, his only Champions League goal for Los Blancos proved to be the winner in the quarter-final tie against arch rivals Atletico after being set up by Cristiano Ronaldo.

Hernandez scored nine times for Madrid before returning to Old Trafford and securing a move to Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen.

The 33-year-old is currently playing for LA Galaxy in the MLS and he has 24 goals from 42 appearances since moving to America.

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