Chelsea, Man City, Bayern or Madrid - where will Rudiger end up playing his football next season?
We're now just over two months away from the January transfer window and that means Chelsea are edging closer to judgement day for Antonio Rudiger.
The Germany international has become a vital member of Thomas Tuchel's Champions League winning side and remains a key figure in the Stamford Bridge side as they push for a league title this season.
However, despite his good form in London, Rudiger still hasn't signed an extension to his contract, which expires next summer. Which means that the defender will be able to entertain offers from across the continent on New Years Day.
So where will Rudiger be playing his football next season?
Perhaps the most logical choice for Rudiger to make is to simply stay put at Chelsea. At Stamford Bridge the defender is part of one of Europe’s strongest teams and works under a manager he clearly has plenty of time for.
However, before the Germany international can commit to a new deal, he may wish to seek out assurances that potential new signings like Jules Kounde and young prospects from the club’s academy won’t take his place soon after he’s committed to staying put.
While some reports have suggested that Rudiger has been left dissapointed by Chelsea's recent offer, sports journalist Fabrizio Romano believes Rudiger would still very much favour staying put at Stamford Bridge.
Toni Rüdiger situation. Rüdiger priority is to stay, talks are still ongoing between Chelsea and his agents - but the agreement is ‘far from being reached’, as things stand now. 🔵 #CFC— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) October 22, 2021
Many clubs interested in signing Rüdiger in case he’ll be a free agent. The race is open. pic.twitter.com/gHEVSAQiW9
One possible destination for Rudiger this summer is Real Madrid, who are keen on signing the defender at the end of the season, according to ABC.
The Spanish giants recently lost Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane in the summer and despite signing David Alaba, Madrid are still in desperate need of a new central defender to steady the ship.
Rudiger would be able to slot straight into Carlo Ancelotti’s team and would bring a wealth of experience and talent to the team that is sorely lacking at the moment.
However, a likely move for Rudiger at the end of this season still remains a move to Bayern Munich.
Heavily linked with a return to Germany, Rudiger is likely tempted by the prospect of nailing down a starting role in Julian Nagelsmann’s side without the constant fear of being replaced, that surely lingers at Stamford Bridge.
Add to that the constant speculation of Niklas Sule’s future at Bayern and it seems as though the Bavarian giants may have a large Rudiger-side hole in their team that will need filling in the summer.
The player recently admitted that he was flattered by the apparent interest shown in him by the German champions and could end up taking them up on an offer in January.
A new contender for Rudiger's signature seems to be none other than Premier League rivals Manchester City.
According to sports journalist Gianluca di Marzio, the English champions believe Rudiger would be a vital addition to Pep Guardiola's defence.
Obviously, picking up the German defender would also direct weaken one of Man City's rivals, so would be something of a double whammy for Chelsea.