Man United and Chelsea go head-to-head to sign defensive star

As reported in an exclusive by The Sun, Chelsea and Manchester United are set to do battle for the signature of highly rated German centre-back Antonio Rudiger.

What’s the word?

Manchester United badly need some defensive improvement this season if they’re to qualify for the UEFA Champions League come May, but they face an uphill battle to sign one of their targets with rivals Chelsea set to compete with them off the pitch as well as on.

The Sun reckon both clubs are chasing Roma’s Antonio Rudiger and are willing to spend big in January to get him. His future at Roma is unclear given the Italian club’s need to maximise the value received for their top talent.

Rudiger is in red-hot form for Roma this season and that’s what is said to have attracted the two English giants to the German international.

Football Soccer - AS Roma v Chievo Verona - Italian Serie A - Olympic Stadium, Rome, Italy - 08/05/16 AS Roma's Antonio Rudiger in action against Fabrizio Cacciatore of Chievo Verona. REUTERS/Tony Gentile Picture Supplied by Action Images

Why the fuss?

At just 23 years of age, Rudiger is one of the most highly rated defenders in his age group and his next move could see him join a club for the next decade.

Roma are currently enjoying a fantastic season, sitting second behind Juventus in the Serie A table. Rudiger has been key to that and is likely more than able to make the step up to Premier League football.

He has versatility too, appearing in the centre of defence and on both defensive flanks so far this season. That’s very valuable in elite teams with wages and transfer fees at an all-time high.

Already winning 11 caps for a fantastic Germany side, he clearly has what it takes to make an impact on the first teams at Manchester United and Chelsea.