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Rudiger set to fight for his place at Chelsea

Antonio Rudiger looks set to stay at Chelsea despite speculation linking the defender with a deadline day move away from Stamford Bridge.

The Germany international has been linked with a move away from the club in recent weeks after falling out-of-favour under Frank Lampard, the centre-back having fallen down the pecking order at the west London side in the early weeks of the new campaign.

Rudiger was an unused substitute for the season-opening victory at Brighton but has failed to feature in a matchday squad since, with the 27-year-old reportedly open to a move away as he bids to secure regular first-team football ahead of next summer’s European Championships.

Tottenham, Paris Saint-Germain and former side Roma – who have struggled to strike a deal with Manchester United for Chris Smalling – had been linked with a move to sign the defender, though he now looks likely to remain with the Blues and fight for his first-team place, Chelsea having been unwilling to do business with local rivals, Spurs.

The arrival of Thiago Silva this summer has pushed Rudiger down the pecking order with Chelsea now boasting five first-team central defenders, the Brazilian joining Andreas Christensen, Fikayo Tomori and Kurt Zouma amongst Lampard’s options.

Rudiger now faces a fight to regain favour in Chelsea’s expensively assembled new-look side, though with the winter window less than three months away could push for a January exit should he fail to secure regular first-team football ahead of next summer’s rescheduled European championships.

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