Chelsea are weighing up a £7 million offer for VfB Stuttgart centre-back Antonio Rudiger, who has also been linked with Manchester United, Juventus, Bayern Munich, AS Monaco and West Ham within the past week.
The 21-year-old Germany international is widely considered one of the most promising defenders in the Bundesliga - and Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho appears to regard him as a cheaper and more obtainable transfer target than Real Madrid centre-back Raphael Varane. Mourinho admitted this weekend that, while he is a huge fan of the French starlet, he fully expects him to stay at the Bernabeu for many years to come.
Rudiger has £7m asking price
News of Chelsea’s planned bid comes courtesy of the Daily Star, who confirm that Mourinho is enticed by Rudiger because of his modest £7 million asking price. West Ham had hoped to complete a deal for the talented defender in the summer, but a move failed to materialise with Rudiger determined to hold out for a top club.
Mourinho seeking John Terry replacement
Mourinho is seeking a long-term replacement for club captain John Terry, who turns 34 in December and could be playing his final season at Stamford Bridge before either retiring or finishing his illustrious career elsewhere. Chelsea secured the services of highly-rated French defender Kurt Zouma earlier this year, while exciting Danish centre-back Andreas Christensen is also on the club’s books, but both are reportedly considered too raw at this early stage in their respective careers.
Rudiger, however, would be ready to make an instant impact either in January or next summer. The 6ft 3in centre-back is not only impressing in the Bundesliga, but he’s also managed to make an impression on the international stage too, after making his Germany debut against Poland back in May.
Competition for Rudiger is fierce
While Chelsea fans and Mourinho would prefer to sign the world-class Varane, who looks on course to become one of the best defenders of his generation, Rudiger appears to possess all the required qualities to become a top-class central defender in his own right.
But the west London outfit face stiff competition for his signature, and may need to cough up more than £7 million in order to convince Stuttgart to sell their prized asset with interest in the player becoming increasingly intense.
Manchester United are just one of the clubs looking to ensure Rudiger doesn’t end up at Stamford Bridge in the near future - and with the Red Devils’ in desperate need of defensive reinforcements, news of Chelsea’s proposed bid could force them to act with their own offer sooner rather than later.