Premier League • England

Rudiger picks next club, but agent ‘conflict’ gives Rangnick a helping hand

Antonio Rudiger warms up for Chelsea ahead of Premier League game at Stamford Bridge

Antonio Rudiger has reportedly made clear his transfer preference upon leaving Chelsea – but his agent seemingly has other ideas and wants to open talks over a move to Manchester United.

Rudiger has become a cornerstone of the Blues’ success over the past year and is one of the first names on Thomas Tuchel’s team sheet. However, with his contract due to expire at the end of the season, Chelsea find themselves in a tricky situation.

Indeed, some reports are suggesting that Rudiger wants as much as £290,000 a week to sign new terms at Stamford Bridge.

And despite his importance to Tuchel, that seems far higher than Chelsea are prepared to spend. Indeed, reports claim he has branded their latest offer a ‘slap in the face’.

As such, it’s no surprise to see the defender linked with mutiple clubs, including PSG, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich.

Now, according to SportBILD, Rudiger has his heart set on a move to Real Madrid.

Los Blancos see the signing of the defender on a free transfer as an ‘opportunity not to be missed’. As such, they are reportedly ready to submit an approach for him from January 1, when he is eligible to sign a pre-contract agreement.

That news comes amid reports that PSG are also planning a huge counter offer of their own. Indeed, SportBILD writes that Rudiger’s camp held talks with PSG sporting director Leonardo over a deal earlier this month.

Furthermore, PSG reportedly see two benefits to signing Rudiger. First and foremost, the capture of a world-class star on a free would represent a real coup for the Ligue 1 giants.

Rudiger caught up in Mbappe cold war

Secondly, PSG are currently embroiled in something of a cold war with Real Madrid over Kylian Mbappe. The striker is widely expected to move to Los Blancos as a free agent next summer. However, the capture of Rudiger by PSG were act as some semblance of revenge.

That said, SportBILD are adamant that Rudiger’s heart is set on a move to the Bernabeu, with a three-year deal proposed. They state Chelsea have not given up hope of persuading Rudiger to sign a new deal.

However, there seems a growing acceptance at Stamford Bridge that Rudiger will leave come the end of the season.

Despite claims that Rudiger has his heart set on Real, reports on Thursday are refusing to discount Manchester United out of the running.

Indeed, our Euro Paper Talk on Tuesday suggested Rudiger could yet move to Old Trafford in the ‘ultimate act of betrayal’.

Rudiger set for a big payday as free agent

Rudiger set for a big payday as free agent

The Chelsea man is out of contract at the end of this season, as is captain Azpilicueta.

Now there’s an intruguing twist to the saga, with the Daily Star reporting that Rudiger’s agent will advise a move to United.

They state that the half-brother and agent of Rudiger, Sahr Senesie, shares a “close” relationship with Ralf Rangnick. 

As such, he wants his client to listen to what the United interim manager proposes over a prospective switch.

This is given further substance by German transfer expert Christian Falk, who claims Senesie is ‘willing to negotiate with United’.

Rudiger opens up on his future

Wherever he ends up, it promises to be a fascinating few weeks for Rudiger and Chelsea.

In the meantime, the player has opened up about his difficult situation under previous boss Frank Lampard.

“Yeah [I was close to leaving], the way things were going for myself but also for the team,” he said.

“But in the winter [2021] period I was not keen to leave that much, to be honest. It was more in the summer period where I wanted to leave.

“But Thomas Tuchel came and the rest is history. He opened a new door, I would say it like that. To say he saved my career is a little bit too much. He played a big role.”

Rudiger added: “To be honest, it was easy [to carry on playing]. There was also a lot of noise going on when the last coach was sacked.

“There were a lot of negative rumours and everything and stuff like this. And I kept on doing what I’m doing… I don’t get easily shaken.”

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