Liverpool would be pulling off a great coup if they sign Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger on a free transfer next year, claims Noel Whelan.

Speaking to Football Insider, former Leeds United striker Noel Whelan has claimed that Liverpool would be getting a great deal if they manage to secure the free transfer signing of Antonio Rudiger from Chelsea next summer.

Rudiger has been with Chelsea for four years now, having arrived from AS Roma back in 2017. While he has had his ups and downs at Stamford Bridge, the 28-year-old has established himself as one of the best defenders in England and Europe this year, ever since he was brought back into the fold by Thomas Tuchel after being frozen out by Frank Lampard.

Rudiger played a key role in Chelsea’s UEFA Champions League success last season and has been one of their top performers this term, enabling their rise to the summit of the Premier League. But his future at Stamford Bridge beyond this season is anything but secure as the German defender’s contract runs out at the end of the season.

An agreement over a new deal is yet to be reached between the two parties, leading to strong interest from several clubs, including Manchester City and Tottenham. Recent reports, however, have indicated that Liverpool too had entered the race to sign the former AS Roma man, and Noel Whelan has opined that the Chelsea star would be a coup for the Reds.

Rudiger has appeared on the radar of several European giants (Photo by Alex Burstow/Getty Images)
Rudiger has appeared on the radar of several European giants (Photo by Alex Burstow/Getty Images)

“Wow, that would be just a real coup,” he told Football Insider before adding, “To have Rudiger and Van Dijk in the same side, with Konate to come in. Wow, that would be a solid set of options. It would add even more steel at the back.

“We all know what they’ve already got upfront and in midfield. There are not many positions in which you would say they need an extra player. But Rudiger would be some signing and give Liverpool two centre-halves that anyone would fear.”

Liverpool have no shortage of options in defence with Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Joel Matip, Nathaniel Phillips and summer signing Ibrahima Konate all at Klopp’s disposal. So, it is not an area in which the Reds need immediate reinforcements. However, given Matip’s advancing age and injury troubles, the Reds might look to bring in an experienced replacement for him, and Rudiger would certainly fit the bill.

The German international is also on the radars of Real Madrid as his contract continues to wind down. It will be interesting to see where Rudiger ends up come summer.

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