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REAL MADRID

Rüdiger's hopes for Real Madrid move placed on the back burner

In just a few days' time, Antonio Rüdiger will be free to start negotiating with the club of his choice. Real Madrid deny that they are in talks with the player.

Update:
Rüdiger's hopes for Real Madrid move placed on the back burner
Catherine IvillGetty Images

In less than five days' time Antonio Rüdiger will be free to begin negotiating with whichever clubs he fancies. His contract at Chelsea runs out in June, so as soon as the New Year comes in, he will be eligible to sign a new contract with another club ahead of the 2022/23 season. The 28-year-old is one of a handful of high-profile players who will be in a position to move on a free transfer in July and that has aroused the attentions of a number of Europe's major clubs such as Bayern Munich, PSG - and Real Madrid.

Madrid have denied reports that they will be holding talks with the player's agent next month. The rumours appear to have come from Rüdiger's representative Sahr Senesie, a manoeuvre designed to get him the best deal possible. Ancelotti is not looking to strengthen the central part of his back four - he is happy with the current pairing, Militão and David Alba, a partnership which some initially had doubts about but which is devloping into a solid alliance. Besides, Madrid have other players who can cover either of the central defence positions when needed - Nacho, Jesús Vallejo or even Casemiro.

Madrid's transfer objectives in January

When the winter transfer window opens on 1 January, Real Madrid's priority will be wrapping up the operation to bring Kylian Mbappé to the Bernabéu in the summer. No other areas within the team need urgent attention.

Madrid don't particularly fancy the idea of entering a bidding war with Bayern and PSG for a player they don't need. The problem with Rüdiger is that his wage demands are high - and that is what is stopping him from renewing terms with Chelsea. Alaba earns 11 million euros per season. He was brought in as a quid pro quo replacement for Sergio Ramos, with a salary not too far off what the ex-captain was taking home. He and Rüdiger are a similar age - the German, slightly younger, will turn 29 in March and while there would be no communication problems between the two (both speak German), by signing him, where would it leave Militão? The Brazilian is having a superb season and Ancelotti sees no reason to start meddling with something that works fine as it is.

PSG, who signed Sergio Ramos on a free last summer, is another option for Rüdiger - as is Bayern, who have yet to replace Alaba and have been coping with Niklas Süle and Lucas Hernández as their first choice centre-back pairing. There is also the possibility that Rüdiger could end up signing a new contract with Chelsea - after all, he is said to be happy there and there are no indications that he is desperate to leave. The only snag is that the club has three other defenders whose contracts will also expire in June - César Azpilicueta, Thiago Silva and Andreas Chistensen. That is a situation which Chelsea have to get sorted. Their last offer presented to Rudiger was believed to be around 8.5 million euros, a 25% increase on what he is currently earning, according to Sport Bild.

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