Real Madrid are reportedly inching closer to securing the services of Antonio Rudiger, who could be set to leave Chelsea as a free agent next summer.
According to a report by Spanish outlet Defensa Central, Real Madrid have been handed another big boost in pursuit of Antonio Rudiger. The German defender continues to stall on penning a new deal with Chelsea, which is bringing him closer to the exit door at Stamford Bridge, where Los Blancos and Bayern Munich are lurking.
Antonio Rudiger has become a highly sought-after player in the transfer market owing to his exploits under the tutelage of Thomas Tuchel. A bit-part player in Frank Lampard’s final days as the Chelsea boss, the 28-year-old has grown in stature enormously in Tuchel’s short reign so far, with many hailing him as the best defender in the Premier League.
To date, Rudiger has made 159 appearances for Chelsea, chipping in with eight goals and three assists along the way. However, the Blues are in a precarious position over the long-term future of the German international, who is in the final year of his deal with the club. Such a situation has alerted a number of top clubs across Europe, including Real Madrid.
The interest from Real Madrid makes a lot of sense as they have been extremely susceptible at the back in the early stages of the season. Indeed, the decision to not bring in two centre-backs to replace Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane is now coming back to haunt the Merengues, with David Alaba and Eder Militao the only reliable central defensive options.
However, as was seen against Espanyol this past weekend, Alaba can often be deployed in other positions as well, which leaves Carlo Ancelotti shortchanged on options for the heart of the Real Madrid defence. As a result, it is imperative that the Spanish giants sign a centre-back, making Chelsea contract rebel Rudiger a viable target.
According to Defensa Central, the 28-year-old has been hesitant over accepting any offer from Chelsea so far, with the Blues now starting to scour the transfer market for a replacement. This has brought Real Madrid closer to Rudiger, although they are also facing stiff competition from Bayern Munich for him.
What now remains to be seen is if Rudiger continues to stall on signing a new contract with Chelsea before possibly departing Stamford Bridge as a free agent. That is where Real Madrid and Bayern Munich will come into the picture and a fascinating next few months beckon the German defender.