Manchester United, Barcelona, Real Madrid and Juventus are reportedly all in the running to snap up Chelsea’s Antonio Rudiger on a free transfer this summer.
Four of Europe’s biggest clubs are reportedly interested in snapping up Antonio Rudiger on a free transfer from Chelsea this summer.
The 29-year-old’s contract at Stamford Bridge expires on June 30, and he has been free to discuss terms with overseas clubs since January, but no agreement has yet materialised.
Rudiger is understood to have plenty of suitors, though, with Goal claiming that Manchester United, Barcelona, Real Madrid and Juventus are all keeping close tabs on his situation in West London.
Man United are in the market for defensive reinforcements having suffered another disappointing season, currently sitting seventh in the Premier League table and six points off the Champions League places.
Ralf Rangnick‘s side have conceded 42 goals in 31 games this term – the second-highest tally in the top 11 of the Premier League – while doubts remain over incumbent centre-backs such as Harry Maguire, Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof.
Maguire is the current captain of Man United, but has seen his position and status in the team – as well as his long-term future at the club – come under scrutiny this season.
Meanwhile, Barcelona are also looking to tap into the free agent market once again this summer, with Rudiger’s current Chelsea teammates Andreas Christensen and Cesar Azpilicueta also thought to be on their radar.
While their financial situation is no longer as bleak as it was last summer, big-money signings are still unlikely at Camp Nou in the near future, forcing them to focus instead on players available for free.
Barca’s La Liga rivals Real Madrid are expected to dedicate the vast majority of their summer transfer budget to signing Kylian Mbappe and Erling Braut Haaland, leaving them also shopping around for bargains to strengthen other areas of the field.
The Champions League semi-finalists brought in David Alaba on a free transfer last summer and are keen to repeat the trick by bringing in another high-profile player for nothing.
Reports have also suggested that Juventus view Rudiger as a long-term replacement for 37-year-old Giorgio Chiellini and 34-year-old Leonardo Bonucci.
All four clubs would be willing to offer Rudiger a lucrative weekly wage due to the lack of a transfer fee, while Chelsea themselves have not given up hope of keeping the 29-year-old at Stamford Bridge beyond the end of the season.
Thomas Tuchel‘s side were in negotiations with Rudiger’s camp over the possibility over an extension before the club was sanctioned due to owner Roman Abramovich‘s ties with Russian president Vladimir Putin in the wake of the invasion of Ukraine.
Those sanctions include a transfer ban which prevent Chelsea from tying down any existing players to new contracts, although that could be lifted if the sale of the club goes through in time.
Four bidders have been named on the shortlist to buy the reigning European champions, with today being the deadline for final bids to be submitted.
The prospective new owners of Chelsea could resume contract talks with the Germany international if sanctions are lifted once a sale goes through, and the four interested clubs are therefore keen to push through an agreement before then.
Despite the uncertainty over his future throughout the campaign, Rudiger has featured 46 times for Chelsea in all competitions this season, scoring five times and assisting four more.
In all, since joining Chelsea from Roma for £31.5m in 2017, Rudiger has scored 12 goals in 195 appearances for the club, helping them to five trophies including a Champions League, an FA Cup and a Europa League.