Barcelona are monitoring Antonio Rudiger’s contract situation, with the Chelsea defender now able to sign a pre-contract agreement with foreign clubs after entering the final six months of his deal.
Sky Sports News reported earlier this week Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich and Juventus have all opened talks with Rudiger’s representatives over a free transfer in the summer.
Rudiger is in no rush to sign a pre-contract agreement with a new club, and the German international is aware there could be interest from Premier League sides if he becomes a free agent in the summer.
Ralf Rangnick, the Manchester United interim manager who will take up a consultancy at Old Trafford in the summer, is an admirer of Rudiger and knows the Chelsea defender’s brother – who is also his agent – well.
Rudiger is 29 in March and his next contract could be the biggest of his career.
But while the former Roma and Stuttgart defender is keen to be paid what he believes he is worth, the biggest factor when deciding his future will be the football project on offer.
Rudiger has not ruled out signing a new contract with Chelsea, but the European champions would have to make him the highest-paid defender in the Premier League if they were to keep him.
Chelsea’s most recent contract offer – made at the start of the season – was dismissed by Rudiger and his representatives as it promised to pay him only half of what the club’s top earners make.
Despite the uncertainty over his future, Rudiger is understood to remain committed to Chelsea for the remainder of his contract and focused on helping Tuchel’s side achieve their objectives.
Tuchel continues to count on Rudiger, with the head coach starting his compatriot in 20 Premier League games this season – the most of any Chelsea outfield player.
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Highlights from the first leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final match between Chelsea and Tottenham
Rudiger joined Chelsea from Roma in July 2017 and has gone on to win the FA Cup, Europa League and Champions League with the club.
Chelsea could be facing a number of departures in defence this summer, with captain Cesar Azpilicueta and Andreas Christensen also seeing their contract expire this summer.
Tuchel: Rudiger knows my appreciation
Thomas Tuchel told reporters ahead of Chelsea’s Carabao Cup semi-final first leg win against Tottenham on Wednesday that he was hopeful Rudiger was aware of his admiration of his work, having turned him from a fringe player into a mainstay of his Chelsea defence since he was appointed head coach a year ago.
“I cannot predict the future and I don’t know if his representatives are talking to other clubs or not,” Tuchel said. “Of course, it is possible, it is January and he hasn’t signed a new contract with us yet but we are in communication with him. The club is in dialogue with his people.
“I assume he is very aware of what I demand from him and how much I appreciate him. The level on which he is playing is still super high and outstanding. There are no doubts the situation is a concern for that.
“My opinion is very clear, the club is trying their very best with him so the situation has not changed a lot.”
Di Marzio: Juventus not favourites for Rudiger signature
Sky Italia transfer guru Gianluca Di Marzio told Sky Sports News:
“Juventus talked to Antonio Rudiger’s agent, but they’re not too confident that they are in pole position [to sign him]. There are more important clubs who want to sign Rudiger.
“If he was to come back to Italy, Juventus would like to have him back. The strategy at the club is different now – less money, less investment, so if he has PSG or other important clubs in Spain, I don’t think Juventus are the favourites to sign him.”
Who will be on the move in January?
The January transfer window opens on Saturday, January 1, 2022 and closes at 11pm on Monday, January 31.
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