Top 5 possible destinations for Antonio Rudiger

Rudiger’s Chelsea contract is set to expire on June 30

The Antonio Rudiger contract saga has been in the news for quite some time now. The German has shown what he is capable of under Thomas Tuchel. He was instrumental in Chelsea winning the UEFA Champions League last season and has been in great form this campaign as well. He is a leader on the pitch, commanding the players and leading from the back.

The 29-year-old’s contract at Chelsea is set to expire at the end of the season, and he has attracted interest from some of Europe’s biggest football clubs. Rudiger is understood to have plenty of suitors, though, with Goal claiming that Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona, Real Madrid and Juventus are all keeping close tabs on his situation in West London.

Meanwhile, Manchester United are also reportedly in the market for defensive reinforcements having suffered another disappointing season, currently sitting sixth in the Premier League table and eight points off the UEFA Champions League places.

Rudiger is said to be happy staying back at Stamford Bridge but wants a significant pay rise which the club are not willing to offer. Thomas Tuchel’s side was in negotiations with Rudiger’s camp over the possibility of 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 prevents 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. Here is the list of top five clubs that can land Antonio Rudiger, if Chelsea fails to renew his contract:

#1 Manchester United

Manchester United have had a pretty average defensive record this season, despite signing Raphael Varane. Ralf Rangnick’s side has conceded 52 goals in 35 games this term – the second-highest tally in the top 11 of the Premier League – while doubts remain over incumbent central defenders Harry Maguire, Eric Bailly, and Victor Lindelof.

The arrival of Antonio Rudiger, who now has almost five years of Premier League experience, will further bolster their squad. He can be a useful replacement for Harry Maguire, who has seen his position and status in the team along with his long-term future at the club come under scrutiny this season.

#2 Barcelona

Rudiger can replace Pique in the heart of Barca’s defence

Rudiger can replace Pique in the heart of Barca’s defence

La Liga giants Barcelona are already the front-runners to sign two quality Chelsea defenders – Cesar Azpilicueta and Andreas Christensen. And now the Spanish club is willing to go head to head with their domestic rival, Real Madrid, for the signature of the Chelsea central defender as well.

Although the club’s 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. With Gerard Pique entering the twilight phase of his career, the arrival of the German defender from London will solidify their defense.

#3 Paris Saint-Germain

The German desires a significantly higher wage slip than what he is earning right now, and if there’s one club that has deep enough pockets to pay that, then it’s PSG. Reportedly, the French side’s sporting director, Leonardo, is eagerly awaiting the summer transfer window to pounce on his target and sign him on a free transfer.

PSG made impressive defensive signings last summer in Sergio Ramos, Gianluigi Donnarumma, and Achraf Hakimi. They already have players such as Marquinhos, Presnel Kimpembe, and others who make their defense solid. But, despite all these factors, PSG lost to Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League Round of 16, in a tie which they should have sealed. Antonio Rudiger could be the answer to their defensive problems. The German can form a formidable partnership with Marquinhos and give them a shot at the UEFA Champions League title.

#4 Juventus

Juventus view Rudiger as a long term replacement for Chiellini and Bonucci

Juventus view Rudiger as a long term replacement for Chiellini and Bonucci

Reports by Daily Mail UK have suggested that Juventus view Rudiger as a long-term replacement for 37-year-old Giorgio Chiellini and 34-year-old Leonardo Bonucci. The Turin-based side was recently knocked out by a determined Villarreal in the Champions League, despite having quality defenders such as Matthijs de Ligt and Daniel Rugani losing the second leg miserably with a score of 3-0 at home.

The Serie A giants are offering him a four-year contract which will keep him at the club until 2026. He will earn around £5.4m per season as reported by the same daily. Meanwhile, the German would not require much time to settle in Italy as he has prior experience in the Serie A, playing for AS Roma before moving to Chelsea in 2017.

#5 Real Madrid

Real Madrid is reportedly very keen to sign the defender, and the feeling is mutual with Rudiger. In fact, as per many reliable publications, the German player is close to agreeing on a four-year deal that is said to make him one of the highest-paid defenders in the world.

Madrid who is in the news to sign Kylian Mbappe from Les Parisiens will become unstoppable if they manage to land both these superstars. Real is doing a good job with the pairing of David Alaba and Eder Militao, but bringing an in-form, experienced defender will only make their defense stronger.