Will Antonio Rudiger stay at Chelsea beyond this season?
According to the latest reports, it appears unlikely. The Blues centre-back currently earns around £100,000-a-week at Stamford Bridge, but some of the biggest clubs in Europe, including PSG, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Juventus are all willing to quadruple his salary, as reported by the Daily Mail.
Therefore, despite a tremendous year in west London that has included winning the Champions League with Chelsea, it seems that a move away from the club is on the cards when his contract expires in June.
If the German international does decide to take the bumper pay rise, he would be on £400,000-a-week - a truly eye-watering sum of money.
But how would this wage packet compare to his peers? Thanks to the help of Sportskeeda, GIVEMESPORT have drawn up a list of the five-highest paid defenders in world football at the moment...
5. Virgil van Dijk: £220,000-a-week
There can be little surprise that van Dijk features on this list. The 30-year-old is widely regarded as one of the finest defenders on the planet, having won the Champions League and Premier League with Liverpool in recent years.
He has returned from a significant knee injury this season, and looked right at home at the heart of the Reds' defence once more, proving that he's worth every penny of his lucrative deal.
4. John Stones: £250,000-a-week
At the start of last season, it may have seemed ridiculous for Stones to be on such high wages. He was hardly playing for Manchester City, with Pep Guardiola favouring the likes of Ruben Dias and Aymeric Laporte instead.
However, the England man has breathed fresh life into his career since, playing a key role in the side's title win in 2020/21, while also featuring in every game for his country on their run to the final of the European Championships in July. The 'Barnsley Beckenbauer' is back to his best.
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3. Marcelo: £266,000-a-week
This one might raise a few eyebrows. Marcelo has been a fantastic servant for Real Madrid for over a decade, but his game time has been limited for a while now due to fitness issues and a loss of form.
The 58-cap international turns 34 in May, and his contract at the Bernabeu expires the following month, meaning that his days of taking home his current salary may be numbered.
2. Raphael Varane: £340,000-a-week
Varane has established himself as one of the best central defender in the world over the past decade, winning four Champions League trophies with Real Madrid, before adding the World Cup to his collection in 2018.
Now at Manchester United, his Old Trafford career has got off to a stuttering start due to a couple of injury setbacks. However, it shouldn't be too long before he is back in the side and proving why he gets paid the big bucks.
1. David Alaba: £375,000-a-week
Currently occupying top spot is Alaba, although this may not be for long if Rudiger does leave Chelsea next year.
The 29-year-old switched Bayern Munich for Real Madrid in the summer, and has settled in quickly in the Spanish capital. Able to operate as a centre-back or a left-back, his versatility is a major asset for both club and country, and that is why he is so highly valued by his employers.
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