Chelsea are plotting a move for Bundesliga star, and self-confessed Arsenal fan, Antonio Rudiger, who is said to be available for under £10 million - around £7m to be specific.
The VfB Stuttgart defender is believed to be a target of his club’s German rivals VfL Wolfsburg, but it according to reports in Germany he is now on the radar at both Chelsea and Liverpool. It’s not the first time he’s been linked with a transfer to England and at 22 he could make for a young, strong addition to Jose Mourinho’s squad.
The Special One masterminded the Blues’ march to the Premier League title this year and is expected to make only minor adjustments to his squad in preparation for a defence of that trophy next season.
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The acquisition of a player like Rudiger, who is already a fully-fledged Germany international, wouldn’t upset the apple cart, but could bode well for the future.
Indeed the player himself would surely be open to the idea of transferring to Stamford Bridge when the respective fortunes of the two clubs in hand are taken into account.
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Stuttgart only managed a disappointing 14th-placed finish in the Bundesliga this term and so can’t come close to competing with their English counterparts on the status front, whilst Chelsea also boast far greater finances.
That said Rudiger would face quite the task with regards to breaking into Mourinho’s first-team, what with the likes of John Terry, Gary Cahill and Kurt Zouma blocking his path to a centre-back berth and Branislav Ivanovic, Cesar Azpilicueta and Filipe Luis serving as obstacles in the full-back areas.
On top of that the young defender is a known Arsenal fan, which might meant kaput to the rumours of him joining Chelsea even if the Blues are genuinely interested. Last year Rudiger claimed that he owned a Gunners shirt with Alexis Sanchez’s name on the back, also being quoted as having said his heart beats for Arsenal.
If that’s not an indication of his love for the club then we don’t know what is, though where that could possibly tie in with his Chelsea link remains to be seen.
Arsene Wenger isn’t thought to be looking at centre-backs as he’ll prioritise the capture of a defensive-midfielder and perhaps a new goalkeeper, so Arsenal fans shouldn’t get too excited concerning the idea of Rudiger snubbing the Blues in favour of the Emirates Stadium.
Chelsea fans, what do you make of the speculation? Could Rudiger be a useful addition to your squad? Let us know in the comments box below what you think.