Premier League • England

Man Utd, Newcastle watch on as Euro giant from familiar league opens talks with Chelsea ace

Jorginho and Antonio Rudiger celebrate after Chelsea beat Juventus in the Champions League, November 2021

Antonio Rudiger is set to hold talks over a transfer to Juventus for after his Chelsea contract expires, according to reports in Italy.

Ready to leave Chelsea as a free agent at the end of the season, clubs will be queuing up for Rudiger. The Germany international has proven himself as one of Europe’s finest centre-backs in recent years. Particularly since Thomas Tuchel took charge of Chelsea, he has stood out.

Rudiger was instrumental to Chelsea’s success in the Champions League last season. He has also helped them win the Club World Cup this year. But now his time as a Chelsea player is running out.

The 29-year-old will be choosing a new club in the summer after being released from his Chelsea contract. There are several suitors waiting to pounce on the unique opportunity of landing a player of his pedigree for free.

According to Calciomercato, one of the strongest suitors ready to act for Rudiger is Juventus. They remember his qualities well from his two years as a Serie A rival with Roma and have seen him develop further since.

Juventus are looking for an heir to the throne of defensive lynchpin Giorgio Chiellini. He is under contract for one more season, in which he will be 38 years old. Rudiger could come in to help as part of an evolution.

Calciomercato claim the Italian giants have already opened talks with Rudiger’s representatives, via their sporting director Federico Cherubini. For the next four years of contract, wherever that may be, the centre-half is seeking a package worth €55m between wages and bonuses.

Antonio Rudiger is weighing up his options

Antonio Rudiger is weighing up his options

Antonio Rudiger's contract is up this summer and Chelsea are unable to extend it.

He currently earns just over €5m per season at Chelsea, or £100,000 per week. In his next deal, he wants those terms doubling. Juventus have been listening to those requests.

Also on alert are Chelsea’s Premier League rivals Manchester United and Newcastle, plus La Liga leaders Real Madrid.


Rudiger one of three on way out

Also out of contract at the end of the season are fellow defenders Cesar Azpilicueta and Andreas Christensen. According to reports, they could both end up going the same way as each other.

Christensen is on the verge of becoming a Barcelona player from next season. Reports have indicated he has already undergone a medical ahead of a pre-contract agreement.

Barcelona boss Xavi would also like Azpilicueta to return to Spain. His versatility to play as a right-back or centre-back would be useful.

Although some believe Azpilicueta’s contract may have been automatically extended for another year, others deny that is the case. Therefore, he could be free to join Barcelona as well.

It will leave Chelsea with Thiago Silva, Trevoh Chalobah and Malang Sarr as centre-back options for next season. The Sun have also reported that they will promote Levi Colwill to their first team after a loan spell with Huddersfield Town.

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