Manchester City are reportedly in hot pursuit of Antonio Rudiger, desperate to beat Chelsea to the signature of the AS Roma defender this summer.

According to a report in the Daily Mirror, Manchester City have joined the race to sign Antonio Rudiger in the summer transfer window. The Citizens are determined to steal a march on Premier League champions Chelsea for the AS Roma defender.

Rudiger progressed through the ranks at VfB Stuttgart before making his first-team debut in 2012. A three-year spell with the senior side saw him being regarded as one of the most promising defenders in Europe and he was subsequently snapped up by Roma in the summer of 2015.

Initially signed on a season-long loan deal, the Giallorossi made the deal permanent in the summer of 2016. Rudiger has shrugged off the knee injury that deterred him from participating in Euro 2016 as he made 36 appearances in all competitions for Roma in the recently concluded season with his steady performances.

Having gone from strength to strength in two years at the Stadio Olimpico, the player is starting to generate a lot of interest in his services. And as per the report, Chelsea and Manchester City are set to go head-to-head in pursuit of the Germany international this summer.

Antonio Conte enjoyed a highly successful maiden campaign as Chelsea manager in the 2016/17 season, with one of the keys to success being his popular back-three system. While the implementation of the system yielded big positives, the Italian manager isn’t resting on his laurels just yet.

In fact, Conte is keen to continue making improvements to the squad at his disposal at Stamford Bridge, and he has identified defence as one of the primary areas to address. Rudiger’s abilities on the ball makes him a perfect fit in the Chelsea manager’s system and an viable replacement for John Terry.

Meanwhile, Pep Guardiola has already been busy in the transfer market with the addition of Bernardo Silva and Ederson. The Manchester City boss, though, is believed to be desperate to strengthen his side’s back-line after the struggles of his defensive unit in the recently concluded season.

Man in demand! (Photo courtesy - Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Man in demand! (Photo courtesy – Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/Getty Images)

While the Citizens are rumoured to be close to securing the services of Dani Alves for the right side of defence, several targets are being pursued at left-back. At the heart of defence, meanwhile, Rudiger is a player Guardiola has been eyeing for a long time now.

The player’s ball playing abilities makes him a perfect fit in Guardiola’s system of play as well, and he could be just the solution the Spaniard has been looking for in defence. At 24, Rudiger has the potential to be a long-term solution as well.

Moreover, his versatility potentially makes him an asset as well, with the German equally adept at playing as a right-back as he is as a centre-back. Meanwhile, reports have suggested that Chelsea are close to agreeing a £35 million deal with Roma for the player.

However, City are desperate to usurp the Blues in the race to sign Rudiger and are set to make a late bid for him this week. His future is likely to be resolved imminently, and it remains to be seen if City are able to beat Chelsea to the player’s signature.

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