Bayern Munich have reportedly begun talks with Antonio Rudiger’s agent as they eye a summer swoop for the Chelsea defender.

According to a report from Goal, Bayern Munich have entered the race to sign Antonio Rudiger. The Chelsea defender has emerged as a hot prospect in the market as his current contract at Stamford Bridge expires at the end of the season. His reluctance to sign a new contract so far has put many top clubs across Europe on red alert.

Bayern have even started talks with Rudiger’s brother cum agent Sehir Senesi, exploring the possibility of a summer move to Bavaria. Talks are still at a preliminary stage, though, and the German Rekordmeister could face stiff competition in the pursuit of the Chelsea centre-back, who is also courted by Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain.

Nevertheless, Bayern Munich head coach Julian Nagelsmann has identified Rudiger as a potential replacement for Niklas Sule next season. The defender also has his contract in Bavaria expiring at the end of the season. Much like Rudiger, the former Hoffenheim starlet has refused to extend his contract right away and is weighing up his options.

Chelsea were notably linked with a move for Sule during the summer transfer window. But they had primarily targeted Jules Kounde, whose deal collapsed during the final few days, though the Blues are still keeping an eye on the young Sevilla centre-back.

Set for a resurgence at Chelsea? (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

Set for a move away from Chelsea? (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

However, the departure of Rudiger might be unprecedented, as far as the reigning European champions are concerned. And Chelsea might need to spend big in order to not only find a reliable long-term replacement for Thiago Silva but also Rudiger, who has established himself as the club’s best defender under Thomas Tuchel.

It is not a surprise that the Blues have been linked with a move for Juventus superstar Matthijs de Ligt. The Dutchman, though, could cost Chelsea a fortune due to his age and potential, coupled with the experience he brings to the table.

At the end of the day, a lot will depend on Rudiger’s future. The German international is open to new opportunities and the chance to join FC Bayern and return to his homeland is certainly an intriguing prospect. But at the same time, the former Borussia Dortmund youth player will be aware of his success at Chelsea and is likely to extend his contract, especially if the Blues clinch the Premier League title this term.

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