Real Madrid are reportedly set to face competition from Bayern Munich and Juventus in the race to sign Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger.

According to a report from Spanish publication Fichajes, Real Madrid have been joined by Bayern Munich and Juventus in the race for Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger, even as manager Thomas Tuchel pushes the club to hand the German a new contract.

Rudiger has been with Chelsea since 2017 when he arrived from AS Roma. While he was a regular in the side for the first couple of seasons at Stamford Bridge, the German found himself dropping down the pecking order of things under Frank Lampard. The 28-year-old was pretty much frozen out at times, leading to speculations over his future, although he did end up staying put.

It was only after Thomas Tuchel took over from Lampard that Rudiger was reintegrated back into the starting XI at Chelsea and he has not looked back since. The former AS Roma man has been one of the pillars of strength in this Chelsea team, playing a key role in their UEFA Champions League success last term and the UEFA Super Cup win earlier this season.

Rudiger’s form has seen him become one of the most important players under Tuchel, but with his contract running out next year, Chelsea are in a precarious situation with regards to his future. While the manager is pushing for a new deal, Real Madrid are waiting in the wings to pounce and sign the German defender on a free transfer in case a new deal is not agreed upon.

Rudiger has appeared on the radar of several European giants (Photo by Alex Burstow/Getty Images)

Rudiger has appeared on the radar of several European giants (Photo by Alex Burstow/Getty Images)

In what was a summer of changes, Real Madrid lost two of their defensive stalwarts in Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane, who joined Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United, respectively. While David Alaba was brought in, the fact that Eder Militao is still not entirely convincing and Nacho is into his thirties means Los Blancos will need to bring in another top-class centre-half next summer.

Rudiger, to that end, has emerged as a key target for the Spanish capital club. However, Real Madrid will now have to battle with Bayern Munich and Juventus for the signing of the 28-year-old defender, as per the report.

Bayern, like Madrid, lost Alaba and Jerome Boateng this past summer and even though Dayot Upamecano has been signed, might have to bring in another centre-half to replace Niklas Sule, who is in the final year of his contract. As for Juventus, Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini are in the final phases of their career and will need replacing as well, making Rudiger a viable target.

Amidst the interest, Chelsea are ready to table a bumper contract to Rudiger to ensure that he stays put at Stamford Bridge. What remains to be seen is if the Blues are able to convince the 28-year-old to put pen on paper on a new deal or whether the lure of playing for Real Madrid proves too strong.

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