Chelsea are set to give West Ham United a clear path to sign Antonio Rudiger on loan with reports the Stamford Bridge outfit could block a potential move to Tottenham Hotspur.
According to Goal, Chelsea are loath to sanction a deal for Rudiger to join Spurs for the 2020/21 campaign as they envisage they will be competing with their London rivals for league positions and silverware this season.
Tottenham would have been the ideal destination from Rudiger’s perspective, as the 32-cap defender is noted to favour remaining in the capital and be playing for a side who are competing in Europe.
Rudiger’s immediate future at Stamford Bridge is in serious doubt on Deadline Day with the German out of favour under Frank Lampard, having made just one appearance on the bench and failing to make any subsequent matchday squads this term.
The 27-year-old has attracted an array of potential suitors this summer in Spurs, Paris Saint-Germain, FC Barcelona, AC Milan, Inter, AS Roma and West Ham, although interest in the Italian capital has since cooled with the Giallorossi nearing an agreement with Manchester United for Chris Smalling.
Inter will only move for Rudiger if Milan Skriniar leaves the San Siro, too, while Chelsea potentially blocking the £36m-rated centre-half from joining Spurs could leave the Irons with a clear path to strike a deal given his intentions to remain in London.
West Ham’s hopes of signing Rudiger will not be fulfilled purely on Chelsea potentially blocking the defender from joining Spurs given his aspirations of playing in Europe this season, but the Blues’ stance will come as a major boost for manager David Moyes.
The Irons will also have to contend with AC Milan and PSG as both are said to be pushing for a loan deal, but coming out on top could see David Gold and David Sullivan land who Arsenal icon Martin Keown considers to be Chelsea’s best current defender.
“We’re asked to analyse now in this job, to look at the detail; have a look at Chelsea’s line,” Keown told talkSPORT host Jim White last month.
“I’ve spent hours watching, their defence is a joke, it’s a disgrace! [Thiago] Silva’s come in, maybe he’ll resolve that, but I think Rudiger is actually their best defender.”
Rudiger started 19 of his 20 Premier League appearances last season after overcoming an early groin injury, in which SofaScore data shows he averaged a whopping 84.4 touches, 64.8 accurate passes, won 4.8 duels, made 1.4 tackles, 2.8 clearances and was dribbled past just 0.5 times a game.
To now be cast aside will leave Rudiger with the sense of having a point to prove ahead of his return to Chelsea next summer, something Moyes can tap into as he strives to better West Ham’s record as the fifth-worst defence from the top-flight last term.