Tottenham Hotspur could look to raid one of their London arch-rivals in the near future…
According to transfer insider Dean Jones, Spurs hold a big interest in signing Antonio Rudiger from Chelsea, having attempted to lure him in the past.
“They’re really serious about Rudiger,” the journalist told GIVEMESPORT this week.
Indeed, the Lilywhites spoke to the 49-cap Germany international during Jose Mourinho’s time in charge.
“I was close [to leaving],” the defender said when questioned about his future in March, as relayed by The Express. “There was [a] call also with Mourinho, but this is something at the end of the day that didn’t happen.”
It’s believed that the 28-year-old wants to double his wages, and whilst the Blues want to retain his services, there is no willingness to increase his salary beyond an extra £50k-per-week.
Rudiger looked hugely out-of-favour at Chelsea before the arrival of Thomas Tuchel in west London but now he has arguably emerged as one of the best central defenders in the Premier League, so it would be quite a coup if Spurs could snatch his signature from their rivals’ grasp.
He’s still valued at €20m (£18m) by CIES Football Observatory, so it would represent stunning value should they land him for nothing next summer.
The 6 foot 3 colossus has also worked under Antonio Conte before, having registered 45 appearances during the 52-year-old’s reign at Stamford Bridge, so he will know the Italian’s system and methods better than most. He even dubbed his former boss a “very, very good coach” back in 2018.
Rudiger has started 14 of their 15 appearances across the Premier League and Champions League this campaign, whilst he started in the final where they defeated English rivals Man City, emphasising just how crucial he is to Tuchel.
His form under his fellow countryman earned a glowing endorsement from Premier League legend Rio Ferdinand back in August, as he told his podcast (via Metro):
“Look at Rudiger, he’s arguably, since Tuchel has been there [at Chelsea], been the best defender in the Premier League. Him or [Ruben] Dias in that time. He’s been unbelievable, he’s like an animal.”
Regularly, the former Stuttgart and Roma centre-back has been a real thorn in Spurs’ side as he often dominates the north Londoners – he boasts a 70% win rate when facing Tottenham.
One example of this was seen earlier this season. Not only did he score past Hugo Lloris with a deft finish inside the area, but he also earned the second-highest rating on the pitch (8.0) for his defensive masterclass against Harry Kane and Heung-min Son.
As per SofaScore, he registered two clearances and two blocks, and won 100% of his aerial duels up against the England talisman.
Therefore, just imagine him alongside Spurs’ summer signing Cristian Romero but in a Lilywhites strip, rather than the rival blue in which many have seen him terrorise opponents over the last few years.
Romero and Rudiger would be a colossal duo in Conte’s back three, so Fabio Paratici and co must do all they can to secure the German ahead of Europe’s elite.
At the same time, they could deal Chelsea a crushing blow, too.