Antonio Rudiger transfer latest: Barcelona ‘meeting’, Chelsea contract decision, Tuchel stance

Chelsea could potentially be set to lose one of their most reliable defenders this summer, with Antonio Rudiger looking likely to exit Stamford Bridge. The German defender is out of contract at the end of the season and is now able to discuss a move to any interested club from outside England on a free transfer.

The Blues will no doubt be keen to keep him at Stamford Bridge, with the centre-back having established a reputation as one of the most dominating defenders in the Premier League. He has played a key role under current boss Thomas Tuchel, with Chelsea having lifted their second Champions League title last term.

It is reported that there are a number of clubs interested in making a move for Rudiger’s services come the end of the season, so has taken a look at the latest reports to find out where his future could lie.

READ MORE:Chelsea face major N’Golo Kante dilemma after Paris Saint-Germain fire transfer warning shot

Barcelona hold ‘meeting’ over Rudiger transfer

With just a few months remaining until Rudiger’s contract expires, it appears that he has plenty of interest in Spain. According to Sky in Germany, Barcelona sporting director Mateu Alemany and adviser Jordi Cruyff met with the German’s agent Sahr Senesie in a hotel in the Catalan city.

The trio reportedly met for three hours with the Catalan giants apparently set to ‘try everything’ to take the German to the Camp Nou. Meanwhile, they also remain interested in Rudiger’s current teammates Cesar Azpilicueta and Andreas Christensen.

Manchester United stance

According to our colleagues at the Mirror, Ralf Rangnick is said to be a big fan of the Champions League-winning defender and would like to bring him to Old Trafford should he remain in charge next season. The report adds that Chelsea are well aware that Rudiger could earn up to £400,000-a-week with Real Madrid and PSG – both of whom have already made their interest clear.

United know that it would be more expensive for them to bring in a leader of comparable ability and are therefore prepared to make an offer. Rudiger is said to be focused on trying to win more honours at Stamford Bridge before the end of the season. He will then make a decision in the summer.

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Contract admission

Rudiger says the decision regarding his future isn’t entirely up to him. “I feel great here, I have always said it,” Rudiger told The Athletic after Chelsea’s Club World Cup triumph in Abu Dhabi earlier this month. “I think the way I play you can see that I’m happy here. But there are also other people who have to make decisions [about the future].”

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Final PSG and Real Madrid decision made

According to French outlet Foot Mercato, Leonardo and the rest of the Paris Saint-Germain board have made an official offer to the German’s representatives regarding a £6m move to the French capital. In spite of all the good things Rudiger has said on Mauricio Pochettino’s side in the past, his heart is only in two places at this current moment- London and Madrid.

This is because, as Spanish outlet AS have noted down, the man who first made his name at Stuttgart has dreams of only donning the white shirt of Real Madrid which just shows the task that Leonardo and co. have to change his mind. The report even goes on to state that Rudiger himself has reached out to ex-Chelsea teammates Eden Hazard and Thibaut Courtois to get their views on what they think he should do regarding a potential move to the Spanish capital.

‘100% trust’ from Tuchel in the Chelsea board

Tuchel says he has done all he can to persuade the defender to stay whilst also reaffirming his ‘100% trust’ in the Chelsea board to make the right decision. I don’t know if it helps if I take him out for a lot of coffees, it might even push him out! I don’t feel he needs a lot of coffees with me,” Tuchel joked last month.

“He is a guy who needs to trust you. He needs to feel the connection and trust. He needs to feel it by minutes and actions. I don’t feel Toni needs a lot of words, coffee talks or invitations for dinners or whatever. He is a top professional. This is what he proves and nothing has changed. The talks are in good hands. I trust the club 100%, trust in the player and it is a no problem situation for me.

“Also, Toni can still deliver, he did a fantastic match in a back four. He is super reliable. Nothing has changed, the points of view haven’t changed and once something changes. You will be the first to know.”

Rudiger deal ‘not done’

According to Italian football journalist Fabrizio Romano, Rudiger to Real Madrid is “not a done deal as of now”, despite contrasting reports. Romano has also ruled out the possibility of Bayern Munich signing the defender because of his wage demands and also claimed Paris Saint-Germain are interested in his services.

When speaking on his Here We Go podcast, Romano said: “Real Madrid want Antonio Rudiger but it is not a done deal as of now. It’s not agreed yet. Bayern Munich can’t pay Rudiger’s demands and PSG has always had an interest in Rudiger. Real Madrid are working on it but it’s not fully agreed yet.”

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