Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger has emerged as a target for Real Madrid amid his contract standstill, according to reports in Spain.
Rudiger is in the final year of his contract with Chelsea and has many options available to him. He could commit to a new contract after enjoying a resurgence since Thomas Tuchel took over. Alternatively, he could find a new club either for a transfer fee this month or on a free next year.
If the latter scenario is the solution, one club who will be interested is Real Madrid. According to AS, the side from the Spanish capital are eyeing several players who could be available for free in 2022.
The headline names on their shortlist are Kylian Mbappe of PSG and Paul Pogba of Manchester United. Also under consideration is Leon Goretzka of Bayern Munich.
Rudiger also finds a space on their wish-list, though, as they move into the post-Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane era. Ramos has joined PSG and Varane is now a Man Utd player, signifying a changing of the guard at the Bernabeu.
Madrid signed David Alaba from Bayern Munich – also without a transfer cost – earlier this summer. They may have to wait one year to find his ideal partner, but if they are willing to do so, Rudiger could be their man.
The Germany international has made more than 150 appearances for Chelsea since joining them in 2017. During that time, he has helped them to silverware in the FA Cup, Europa League, Champions League and UEFA Super Cup.
But the 28-year-old could bide his time to see what opportunities are available to him. Talks over a contract extension have stalled, although he is willing to stay at the club. Should he seek an exit, though, he can negotiate with foreign clubs from January onwards.
In that case, Madrid may be one of his main suitors.
Terry responds to Chelsea defender rumour
While Rudiger’s exit would occur next year, one centre-back could still leave Chelsea this summer. They are trying to make room for Sevilla’s Jules Kounde to cap off another busy transfer window.
To do so, they need to offload one of their current players in that position first. The casualty looks likely to be Kurt Zouma.
After accumulating years of Premier League experience, though, Zouma could have the chance to stay in England. What’s more, he may not even have to leave London.
He was previously linked with West Ham, but seems too expensive for them. Now, though, Tottenham are showing an interest.
Amid those developments, Blues legend John Terry has given his blunt take on the situation…