Tottenham Hotspur have reignited their interest in Antonio Rudiger after a fresh plea from manager Antonio Conte, according to club sources.
As revealed by Football Insider this week, the north London outfit are back in the race to sign the out-of-contract Chelsea centre-back this summer in a fresh twist behind-the-scenes – just a few months after being ruled out of the running.
The 29-year-old German has been long admired by Spurs and the Italian head coach, who he once managed at Stamford Bridge, having been a top target last summer and during the recent winter window.
It now appears as if the Lilywhites will make another push to seal his signature ahead of some of Europe’s elite, including Barcelona and Bayern Munich, after the 52-year-old made it clear that he wants to be reignited with his ex-star to supremo Daniel Levy.
Conte is believed to be ‘pushing hard’ to sign the free agent and it will now be a test of the chairman’s ambition heading into a big summer of business.
Whilst Spurs are far away from being the front-runners to seal the Germany international, if they manage to secure him next season, it would surely be something of a major coup for the club.
They would not only be prising him away from their arch-rivals – the Blues – but he would also fill a big need of Conte’s as he searches for a central defensive addition this summer.
If Spurs want to keep Conte on board for the long term, then there won’t be a bigger statement of intent than signing Rudiger, who played 45 times under the Italian at Chelsea.
They clearly had a positive relationship with the defender lauding his coach as “very good” during their stint together.
Despite his contractual situation, Rudiger has remained an imperative member of Thomas Tuchel’s side, having featured in 47 games across all competitions, on the back of their Champions League triumph last term.
Across 28 league starts, the £31.5m-rated titan has won an average of 1.8 headers and 1.3 tackles per game, whilst being equally adept on the ball, managing a seasonal passing accuracy of 87.8%, so it’s no wonder Conte retains an interest as his ball-playing and physical ability would be an ideal fit in N17.
Such form for the Blues has led to some high praise indeed.
Premier League great Rio Ferdinand, now a pundit for BT Sport, lauded the 6 foot 3 colossus as an “animal,” with his current boss describing his performance against Real Madrid earlier this month as “world-class” and “outstanding.”
Given his current value, form, ability and suitability to Conte, as evident above, Rudiger would indeed be a major coup for the north Londoners this off-season. Fabio Paratici and his recruitment team must now deliver for Levy as the supremo will want to keep the Italian as happy as possible.