Bayern Munich are said to have opened talks with Antonio Rudiger’s representatives as the defender approaches the end of his contract at Chelsea.
Rudiger is currently in talks with Chelsea over a new contract as he enters the final months of his existing deal, though the Germany international is free to negotiate a pre-contract agreement with foreign sides from January.
Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid have been linked with the 28-year-old in recent months, though Goal are reporting that Bayern Munich have now joined the race for his signature.
The Bundesliga champions are understood to consider Rudiger as an ideal replacement for Niklas Sule, should the centre-back decided to leave when his own contract expires at the end of the season.
A move for Rudiger – who is said to be happy in London but aware his next deal may be the last big contract of his career – will depend on Sule’s future with Julian Nagelsmann keen for the defender to remain at the Allianz Arena.
Rudiger’s exit would be a huge blow to Chelsea with the centre-back having been an integral figure since the arrival of Thomas Tuchel as manager, with former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand hailing the German as the best defender in the Premier League in recent months,
“Since Tuchel has come I think he’s arguably been the best centre-back,” said on his Vibe with Five show. “I think him and Dias would have been close but the effect he has had on his team has been immense.
“Under Frank [Lampard], it was evident he wasn’t Frank’s cup of tea. He didn’t really like him. There was rumours there were trying to put him in the market to be sold.
“In Germany, he’s always been highly thought of. But when the manager doesn’t rate you and you can feel that, I don’t care who you are your confidence takes a beating and it’s hard to perform at that level.”
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