Manchester United to battle Chelsea for Antonio Rudiger

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Football News

Manchester United will go head-to-head with Chelsea and other top European clubs for the signing of VfB Stuttgart centre-back Antonio Rudiger.

This is according to the Express, who understand that Juventus, Bayern Munich, AS Monaco and West Ham are also interested in signing the 6ft 3in Germany international.

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Stuttgart may struggle to keep Rudiger

Rudiger, who made his international debut against Poland back in May, has featured in all seven of Stuttgart’s matches this season and is widely considered one of the most promising young defenders in Germany.

However, Stuttgart have endured a dreadful start to the season - one win from their opening seven matches leaves them one point off rock-bottom Werder Bremen - and may have trouble holding on to their prized asset should any of the interested clubs make a formal offer when the transfer window re-opens in January.

Rudiger aware of interest

Rudiger is aware that a host of clubs are keen to secure his signature. Juventus chiefs have been closely monitoring the defender, while Monaco failed with an ambitious £12 million bid in the summer.

Rudiger also knows that Manchester United are determined to bring him to Old Trafford - and he admits that a move to the Premier League would be a dream come true.

“Of course I am aware of the interest from Manchester United," he told reporters. “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.”

Rudiger, who turns 22 in March, still has three years left on his current contract at the Mercedes-Benz Arena and certainly won’t come cheap.

Who needs him most?

The likes of Manchester United and Chelsea have the financial resources available to sign the youngster, but which club needs him most?

It’s no secret that the Red Devils require strengthening in defence. Louis van Gaal was reportedly keen to bring Borussia Dortmund captain Mats Hummels to Old Trafford in the summer, but the German World Cup winner now looks certain to stay at Signal Iduna Park for the next few years.

United’s current batch of defenders have had major problems with injuries this season, and Van Gaal may regard Rudiger as a more reliable long-term option.

Chelsea appear to have less need for the Bundesliga ace, having splashed out £12 million on talented France Under-21 international Kurt Zouma earlier this year. But manager Jose Mourinho is always looking for players to improve his side and is acutely aware of the need to find a long-term replacement for club captain John Terry.

And if it means preventing Manchester United from strengthening, Mourinho may be even more convinced to make a bid for the Stuttgart star.

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