Antonio Rudiger reveals desire to play for Arsenal

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Stuttgart defender Antonio Rudiger has revealed his desire to play for Arsenal, denting Manchester United and Chelsea's hopes of signing the £7 million-rated Germany international.

The 21-year-old, speaking to German newspaper Bild, has confirmed his desire to play in the Premier League - but insists his dream is to play for the Gunners. With Arsenal in need of defensive reinforcements, Rudiger's revelation may be enough to convince Arsene Wenger to make a formal move for the in-demand Bundesliga ace.

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Rudiger reveals Arsenal desire

"I have always dreamed of the Premier League," Rudiger told reporters. "I have been following Arsenal since the days of Henry and Bergkamp. I watch videos of Arsenal all the time on YouTube and I often wear the current Alexis Sanchez shirt.

"My heart beats for Arsenal."

Blow for other top European clubs

Rudiger's wish to play for Arsenal will also come as a blow to Juventus, Bayern Munich and AS Monaco. All three clubs - along with the English contingent - are vying to secure the 6ft 3in centre-back's signature, and Stuttgart's recent struggles may increase the possibility of a January transfer.

Stuttgart have secured one victory from their opening eight Bundesliga matches, leaving them 15th in the table, two points above bottom-side Werder Bremen.

Rudiger aware of interest

This is not the first time that Rudiger has revealed his desire to play in England. Earlier this year he told reporters why he hopes to play in the Premier League in the near future - and admitted he was aware of interest from several top clubs.

“Of course I am aware of the interest from Manchester United," he said. “They are definitely one of the top clubs in Europe and they are in a league I have been dreaming of. The Premier League is very physical, intense, breathtaking and with a lot of goals.

“My focus, though, remains on playing for Stuttgart. For now, I just have to try and progress as a player.”

Stuttgart could demand huge price

Stuttgart's current predicament means they'll only sell the promising defender, who has four Germany caps to his name, if the price is right. Rudiger still has three years remaining on his current contract at the Mercedes-Benz Arena and may cost a fee well in excess of £7 million to sign when the transfer window re-opens in January.

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