Man Utd playing ‘transfer poker’ as they eye Chelsea star

Premier League side Man Utd are the latest club to join the race to sign Chelsea centre-back Antonio Rudiger, according to reports.

The Germany international has been heavily linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge in the summer with his contract expiring at the end of the season.

Foreign clubs will be able to agree a pre-contract agreement in January for Rudiger if Chelsea fail to agree new terms with the defender.

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It has been rumoured that Rudiger is looking for an offer of £200k a week from the Blues but that the west London club’s best offer so far has been £140k a week.

That has left the door open to Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain who are understood to be interested – but it is the Spanish side who are apparently ‘favourites’ to land Rudiger.

But Sky Deutschland say that rumours claiming that Rudiger has an agreement in principle with Real Madrid are not true with PSG and Bayern Munich ‘definitely interested’.

The centre-backs at Man Utd have again come under intense scrutiny this season with new signing Raphael Varane unable to play for most of the season because of injury.

And now the report in Germany insists that Man Utd are an ‘additional contender’ for Rudiger and have ‘entered transfer poker’ for the Germany international.

Meanwhile, Thomas Tuchel recently warned Rudiger that “nobody is bigger than the club” and the Chelsea boss admitted that he had “no update right now” on the defender’s contract talks.

Tuchel told reporters: “We absolutely accept and are fully aware of the importance of Toni and the role that he’s playing on and off the pitch. There is no doubt about that.

“It’s true that nobody is bigger than the club and this is a team effort and a strong club. It’s not only about Toni and I mean that in the best way because we know what he’s doing and we’re fully aware of it.

“In the end, we need a bit of patience. I have no update right now.”

Some fans have been unhappy with Rudiger’s performances in recent weeks. Tuchel added: “With Toni, his dip in form is very, very slight, if there is even one.

“He’s played so much that he needed the break we gave him but I honestly expect him to be in top shape now.”


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