Chelsea handed massive double lift ahead of Malmo CL clash

Date published: Monday 18th October 2021 7:21 - Rob McCarthy

Antonio Rudiger, Chelsea centre-half

Thiago Silva and Antonio Rudiger have bolstered Chelsea’s defensive options ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League clash with Swedish side Malmo.

The centre-back pair missed Saturday’s 1-0 Premier League win at Brentford, but were both back in training on Monday. Experienced centre-back Silva only returned from Brazil duty on Friday afternoon, leaving the 37-year-old short of preparation time for the Brentford trip.

Germany star Rudiger picked up a minor back issue on national team duty and was forced to sit out the Blues’ gritty win on the road.

Senegal stopper Edouard Mendy pulled off a string of five saves against the Bees in a pivotal showing that helped push Chelsea back to the top of the league.

And now defender Andreas Christensen has lauded the Blues keeper’s stellar form.

“He showed on Saturday he is one of the top keepers in the world, not just the Premier League,” Christensen told Chelsea’s official club website.

“He is a top goalkeeper. You can see how important he is to us, to the team. Yet again we are lucky we have him.

“People can see and recognise what he can do and the quality he has.

“It is hard when you watch him every day because you don’t see the process.

“We just enjoy having him here. He was always a confident goalkeeper when he came in.

“He’s very loud on the pitch and a really nice, confident guy off the pitch. He is trying to just help us every time.”

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Chelsea step up defender chase

Meanwhile, Premier League teams Chelsea and Man City have acted on their interest in a £103million defender, according to reports.

Chelsea have a strong backline consisting of Thiago Silva, Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger. They can also utilise Trevor Chalobah and Cesar Azpilicueta at centre-back.

Christensen and Azpilicueta are expected to pen new deals, which would be a big boost for Thomas Tuchel. However, discussions with Rudiger are going less smoothly. Recent reports have suggested that he could leave after being ‘disrespected’ by Chelsea’s contract offer.

Chelsea are looking for players who could replace Rudiger at Stamford Bridge, in the event of his departure.

Matthijs De Ligt Juventus

City, meanwhile, want to bolster Pep Guardiola’s options in 2022. That’s despite him having Ruben Dias, Aymeric Laporte, John Stones and Nathan Ake at his disposal.

Juventus’ Matthijs De Ligt is one man who would be a great addition to both teams.

He is becoming an important player for the Italian giants and the Netherlands national team. He has already received 31 caps at international level.

Reports coming out of Italy provide a report on his future. Calciomercato write that De Ligt’s agent, Mino Raiola, is determined to engineer a huge move next year.

The player reportedly has a release clause worth £103m in his Juventus contract. Raiola is currently trying to persuade interested clubs to match that fee next summer.

It’s claimed that Chelsea and Man City have contacted Raiola about his client’s availability. They are two clubs who certainly have the spending power to match De Ligt’s price tag.

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