Antonio Rudiger has become the “main candidate” to replace an outgoing Bayern Munich centre-back, according to reports, despite the Bundesliga champions previously stepping back in the transfer race.
Rudiger is a man in demand as he approaches the end of his Chelsea contract. He is already able to negotiate with foreign clubs over his next move. Reports have revealed talks with Real Madrid, bringing to light just how much the defender wants from his next deal.
According to The Athletic, he is holding out for a contract worth £225,000-per-week. That is far more than what Chelsea are currently giving him.
Therefore, there are growing fears that the west London outfit will lose Rudiger at the end of the season. Given his importance in the Thomas Tuchel era, it would be a massive blow.
But quite where Rudiger ends up remains a mystery. Few clubs will be able to match his demands, even at the elite level.
One suitor now back in the race, according to Fichajes, is Bayern Munich. It has been confirmed that Niklas Sule will be leaving for Borussia Dortmund in the summer, so they need a replacement.
And Fichajes name Rudiger as the main option Bayern are looking at to fill the void.
It is claimed that the Germany international wants to return to the Bundesliga. He last played club football in his home country for Stuttgart until 2015.
Furthermore, the fact he is available without a transfer fee – despite his mammoth wage demands – is appealing to the Bavarian outfit. And the report reminds that he is “one of the best in the world” at centre-back.
Bayern have Rudiger alternatives
However, Bayern have two other options in mind to replace Sule. One is Matthias Ginter and the other is Stefan De Vrij.
Ginter already has Bundesliga experience, since he represents Borussia Monchengladbach. Like Rudiger, he will become a free agent in the summer.
De Vrij, meanwhile, is on terms until 2023 with Inter Milan, where he has established himself as a key player in a title-winning side.
Either could be a viable alternative to Rudiger, although the Chelsea man would seem to be Bayern’s priority.
However, in late 2021, a few club officials appeared to rule themselves out of the running for his signature.
Given the developments with Sule, though, perhaps those plans are changing in Munich.
Coincidentally, reports elsewhere have also linked another Chelsea defender with Bayern for after Sule’s exit.
Sky Germany have tipped former Gladbach loanee Andreas Christensen to return to the Bundesliga. He too is out of contract in the summer.
The Denmark international may be cheaper in terms of salary than his current Chelsea teammate, too.