Chelsea struggling to hang on to Rudiger amid Bayern Munich interest

German champions favourites to prise the 28-year-old from the Blues next summer, as coach reveals his admiration for centre-back.

Antonio Rudiger is emerging as one of the big transfer stories heading in 2022 after it emerged that Chelsea are struggling to tie him down to a new long-term deal.

Rudiger is out of contract next summer and we understand talks have not progressed too well with the 28-year-old. As it stands he can sign a pre-contract to leave in January.

The German international has emerged as one of the Premier League's top defenders and Blues boss Thomas Tuchel, a huge fan, is encouraging the club to finalise a deal.

"I think Toni feels very, very good at Chelsea. He feels respect from his team-mates, he feels the importance he has in the team," said Tuchel.

Rudiger himself admits that a decision has yet to be made. He said earlier this week: "For me, this will now be the most important decision of my professional career."

Thomas Tuchel Antonio Rudiger Chelsea Sep21

A number of clubs are being linked but it is German champions Bayern Munich who are the early favourites, and their manager Julian Nagelsmann has revealed his admiration for Rudiger.

"He has an incredibly good aggressiveness. He is a very good defender. I said it last week, that I like it if a player does justice to his job title. That's absolutely true for Toni."

It is therefore little surprise to see Bayern Munich priced at just 2/1 with Planet Sport Bet. Bayern are also looking likely to lose their own German international centre-half Niklas Sule, which makes a move for Rudiger all the more plausible.

But interest is strong and Paris Saint-Germain are very much in contention after mining the free transfer market this summer for the likes of Sergio Ramos, Gini Wijnaldum and Gianluigi Donnarumma.

Real Madrid have yet to sign a long-term replacement for Manchester United defender Raphael Varane and are also priced up at 5/1 to land a player they have been linked to previously.

Of the other contenders, Borussia Dortmund are priced up at 8/1, with Juventus 9s, Barcelona 10s and Premier League champions Manchester City out at 16/1.

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