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Transfer News: Chelsea defender on the radar of La Liga giants amid contract impasse

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Manchester United set to make a move for Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger.

Real Madrid emerge frontrunners in race to sign Antonio Rudiger amidst contract issues with Chelsea

According to Goal (h/t The Express), Real Madrid are the frontrunners in the race to sign Antonio Rudiger next summer amidst his contract standstill with Chelsea.

The 28-year-old defender has hardly put a foot wrong under Thomas Tuchel in the past year. His contribution to our stellar defensive record is immense, and his departure is likely to hit us hard. The defender shall be out of contract next summer, and an agreement over a new deal looks far away.

The German is clear on his stance. He apparently wants £10million in annual wages, which works out to just under £200,000-per-week. The Blues also have their priorities sorted out as they are only willing to shell out £134,000-per-week (£7million-per-year).

Antonio Rudiger is likely to leave Chelsea at the end of the season. (imago Images)
Antonio Rudiger is likely to leave Chelsea at the end of the season. (imago Images)

This is apparently lesser than the pay-packet Kepa Arrizabalaga and Ruben Loftus Cheek are on at the London club. Real Madrid have emerged as the frontrunners for his signature while Bayern Munich are also in the race. However, both teams might also not be able to afford these wages, with PSG named as another potential suitor interested in landing his services.

A decision for the future

If Roman Abramovich and Marina Granovskaia are unwilling to match his wage demands, they could be open to him leaving. If that is the case, it is imperative that they have a plan up their sleeves to replace him seamlessly. 

Thomas Tuchel has made it repeatedly clear that he wants his fellow countryman to stay. The hierarchy would not want to upset him, but it can’t be said why they don’t want to spend that pay package on Rudiger. Could it be his age? The defender turns 29 in March.

Real Madrid are the frontrunners to sign Antonio Rudiger as a free agent next summer.
Real Madrid are the frontrunners to sign Antonio Rudiger as a free agent next summer. (Image: Michael Regan/Getty Images via The Chelsea Chronicle)

Rudiger is crucial to the way we function. But if in the worst-case scenario he does end up leaving, we still have quite the squad- at least for now. Thiago Silva, Cesar Azpilicueta, Andreas Christensen, Trevoh Chalobah, and Malang Sarr are none too shabby options to have at the back.

Thus it can be argued that rather than letting the German earn massive wages into his early 30s, the Stamford Bridge outfit could put that money elsewhere. Chelsea are shrewd negotiators and it would be a surprise to see them bend to fit the demands of an individual over a collective. 

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But it cannot be stressed enough that a plan must be in place to replace Rudiger if he ends up leaving. Playing a system with three centre-backs, Tuchel would need solid depth in defence- an area of the pitch that has been Chelsea’s best friend since the former Borussia Dortmund boss took charge in January.

With Silva ageing and Azpilicueta not getting any younger, it is important for us to plan for our near future.

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