BARCELONA

Barcelona to reignite interest in Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger?

Spanish outlet Sport reports that Barcelona are interested in German defender Antonio Rudiger in January. The Spanish side lack depth at the back and will look for defensive reinforcements in the winter transfer window.

With just Gerard Pique, Ronald Araujo, and Clement Lenglet fit to play at the back, Koeman would be vary that the team needs ample cover at the back to challenge for titles on all fronts. Rudiger has been out of favor at Chelsea this season despite starting 19 out of the Blues’ last 22 league games last season.

This season, Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has preferred the pairing of new signing Thiago Silva and French centre-back Kurt Zouma. Rudiger has just seen 195 minutes of action this season and is reportedly interested in a switch to La Liga.

Rudiger wants the Barcelona move?

According to Sport (h/t Metro), the German is willing to make a switch from the Premier League to Ronald Koeman’s side. The 27-year-old wants to be fighting for a first-team place at Camp Nou rather than Stamford Bridge. With the UEFA European Championship coming up next summer, getting minutes would be vital for Rudiger if he wants to make the cut for the German national team.

Rudiger admitted that he was close to leaving in the summer but he turned out a few options. If Barcelona come knocking at the door, it would be hard for the ex-AS Roma centre-back to turn them down.

“The club didn’t tell me that it was absolutely necessary for me to find a new club and that they definitely didn’t have me in their plans for the next few months. I also turned down one or two options myself…”

– Rudiger talking to The Athletic about his transfer situation in the summer.

Chelsea signed the German from AS Roma for £33 million in the summer of 2017. His contract expires in the summer of 2022, and if Barcelona wants their man, Chelsea would name a fee for him in the same region. If the price is too high, then the debt-stricken Barcelona may be priced away from the deal and forced to look at cheaper options.

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