Chelsea and Manchester United are keen to capitalise on AS Roma’s financial position and secure the services of German defender Antonio Rudiger. The 23-year-old is one of Europe’s hottest prospects and since returning from a major knee injury that ruled him out of Euro 2016, he has quickly picked up where he left off, turning into a cornerstone in the core of Roma’s defence.
Looking at the Premier League table, the huge 13-point gulf between the Blues and the Manchester club seems unbridgeable yet when it comes to financial clout in the transfer window, both clubs are on par. Both managers have been told by their management that money is on their side to strengthen the squad in the winter market, in order to achieve their respective goals for the season.
With Oscar packing his bags to China, Antonio Conte is reportedly interested in bringing Real Madrid midfielder James Rodriguez to Stamford Bridge too. The Spanish outfit will not let the Colombian leave for cheap and Chelsea are surely not concerned over it as their coffer will add up a club-record £60 million windfall once Oscar announces his farewells around the locker room.
Jose Mourinho, on the other hand, is keen to add Benfica’s Victor Lindelof to his defensive ranks. In order to finalize the deal, the Portuguese club officials have arrived in the North West. No doubt the Swedish international would shore up the backline yet to further sign Rudiger might just clog up the options unless some outgoings are also on the cards.
With an eye on the Serie A title and acknowledging Rudiger’s quality, Roma isn’t actually interested in selling their prized asset as they are rather happy to offload Greek defender Kostas Manolas, however, he seems to be high-priced. Roma signed the 25-year-old from Olympiakos back in 2014 for a fee around £13 million and are willing to let him go for a profit of £7 million. Moreover, he turned down an offer to extend his stay at the Stadio Olimpico.
Despite their preference, the stock is higher for the German. Last year, they were stamped with a £4.3 million fine for failing to comply with UEFA Financial Fair Play and will be looking to avoid such spirit-sapping situation this time. Thus if no bids are tabled for Manolas, Luciano Spalletti could see his star defender leave which could serve as a huge blow to his title quest.
Chelsea are at the top of the league with an 11-match winning streak which is largely down to their solid defence. Not forgetting, they are already blessed with quality options on the bench if any injury strikes the starters. Rudiger is tailored to be a trump card yet would delay the opportunity for Kurt Zouma and other academy products to burst into the first team. Zouma is one year younger and somewhat share similar shades as the German international.