Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur are reportedly eager to sign Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger, a target for Real Madrid.

According to a report by The Independent, the race to sign Antonio Rudiger continues to heat up, with Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur the latest clubs to be linked with him. However, the Chelsea defender will prefer to join Real Madrid if he departs Stamford Bridge next summer.

Antonio Rudiger has been in the form of his life since Thomas Tuchel took charge of Chelsea following the departure of Frank Lampard. Now regarded as one of the best defenders in the Premier League, the German international has become a key figure for club and country in 2021.

To date, Rudiger has made 169 appearances for Chelsea, chipping in with nine goals and five assists along the way. However, the 28-year-old’s long-term future at Stamford Bridge is the subject of rampant uncertainty, as he is in the final year of his contract. Such a situation has alerted the who’s who of European football, with Real Madrid, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur tailing him.

The Chelsea contract rebel has been linked with Real Madrid ever since he entered the final year of his contract with the Blues. The Spanish giants’ eagerness to snap him up is understandable, as they did not replenish the spots vacated by Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane when they joined Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United, respectively, in the summer.

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While David Alaba has impressed since arriving from Bayern Munich, Real Madrid could do with another centre-back, with advanced talks with the Chelsea defender underway. Meanwhile, the interest from Manchester United is intriguing, considering they signed Varane from Real Madrid in the summer.

However, Harry Maguire has blown hot and cold at an alarming rate this season, while Eric Bailly’s future is up in the air after being sent tumbling down the pecking order. So, it is understandable why Manchester United might want to sign Rudiger. As for the interest from Tottenham, it is clear why Spurs need to sign someone like the German defender.

Interestingly, the north Londoners have been keen on signing Rudiger for nearly two years, having failed to lure him away from Chelsea last year. With Davinson Sanchez and Eric Dier failing to perform consistently and Joe Rodon heavily linked with a possible departure from the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, the keenness in Rudiger is justified.

However, Manchester United and Tottenham have an uphill task in pursuit of Rudiger, who prefers joining Real Madrid if he cannot agree new terms with Chelsea. So, with the cards laid out bare, it remains to be seen if Chelsea can secure the German international’s long-term future or if he joins Real Madrid instead.

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