antonio rudiger chelsea

Ranking the five favourites to sign Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger before the transfer deadline

Antonio Rudiger’s future remains up in the air with just days remaining of the summer transfer window, the defender seemingly not featuring in Frank Lampard’s first-team plans at Chelsea.

The Germany international was an unused substitute for the club’s opening weekend win at Brighton before being left out of the match day squad for clashes against Liverpool and West Bromwich Albion, his future likely to be away from Stamford Bridge after falling down the centre-back pecking order.

Despite falling out-of-favour the 27-year-old remains a talented player and will likely interest a host of clubs seeking a dominant defender before the transfer deadline.

Roma – 12/1

Roma remain interested in the signing of a new centre-back and continue to be linked with a move for Manchester United’s Chris Smalling, the defender having impressed during a season-long loan spell in the Italian capital last season.

The Serie A outfit have so far been unwilling to match United’s demands for the 31-year-old and are regarded as 12/1 outsiders to switch their attentions to Rudiger, the German having enjoyed a short but impressive spell at the Stadio Olimpico before moving to the Premier League.

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Chelsea are believed to be willing to allow the player to leave on loan with an option to buy, making a move to Roma feasible as Manchester United refuse to lower their valuation for Smalling.

Barcelona – 12/1

Barcelona are another side seeking additions in defence as Ronald Koeman’s overhaul of the club begins, the Dutchman keen to secure the signing of a new centre-back before the transfer window closes.

Finances are believed to be limited at the Camp Nou despite spending more than £100m on the likes of Miralem Pjanic, Francisco Trincao and Sergino Dest, the club’s activity largely offset by notable departures including Luis Suarez, Arthur and Nelson Semedo.

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Chelsea’s willingness to loan the player could see Barcelona make their move for Rudiger, though the west London outfit are keen for the 27-year-old to sign a contract extension to protect his value before sanctioning his departure, the German having just two years remaining on his current deal.

With just three senior centre-backs currently available to Koeman, the Spanish side could be active before next week’s transfer deadline.

Napoli – 10/1

Napoli have been linked with centre-back signings throughout the summer and are amongst the clubs reportedly considering a move for Rudiger, the Neapolitan outfit having already missed out on Gabriel Magalhaes to Arsenal earlier this summer.

The need for a centre-back has lessened given the likelihood that Kalidou Koulibaly will remain with the club beyond the transfer window, the Senegal international having previously been linked with Manchester City throughout the summer.

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Nikola Maksimovic is also reportedly interesting Premier League sides with West Ham keen on his signature, however, a potential late window move which could set the wheels in motion for Rudiger to head to Naples.

Tottenham – 2/1

Could Chelsea do business with their London rivals?

It’s been more than a decade since a player has swapped Chelsea blue for the north London colours of Tottenham, with Carlo Cudicini the most recent name to take a rarely-trodden path.

Spurs, however, are in the market for a central defender having allowed Jan Vertonghen to leave on a free transfer and are reportedly interested in a deal for Rudiger, rumours circling of a potential loan with an option to buy.

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It would represent a risky move for Chelsea to directly strengthen a top four rival, whilst it remains to be seen whether the player would agree to the move, Rudiger alleging he was racially abused during a clash at Tottenham last December.

Paris Saint-Germain – 10/11

The favourites for Rudiger’s signature are Paris Saint-Germain, the Champions League finalists still seeking new additions as they seek to go one better and conquer Europe this season.

Thomas Tuchel has allowed several experienced stars to depart this summer including the likes of Edinson Cavani and Thiago Silva, the latter heading to Chelsea on a free transfer to push Rudiger down the pecking order at Stamford Bridge.

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PSG are yet to make any notable additions with the loan signing of Alessandro Florenzi their only business to date, with their centre-back options looking particularly light as the deadline approaches.

Valencia’s Mouctar Diakhaby is also believed to be on the club’s radar but a move for Rudiger makes sense, an experienced international who will be seeking regular football ahead of next summer’s European Championships.

Read – Is Frank at fault? Why Lampard needs to look in the mirror when it comes to Chelsea’s deficiencies

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