Manchester United are reportedly weighing up offering a bumper┬ácontract to sign Chelsea’s wantaway defender Antonio Rudiger.

According to a recent report from Football Insider, Manchester United are targeting a summer swoop for Antonio Rudiger. The Red Devils are keen on signing a new defender in the summer, with the Chelsea centre-back emerging as an ideal option. Rudiger’s current deal at Stamford Bridge expires at the end of the season, making him a free agent in the summer.

Manchester United are aware of Rudiger’s strained relationship with Chelsea after their underwhelming contract extension offer angered the German, who earns significantly lower than his compatriots Kai Havertz and Timo Werner. It has compelled Rudiger to explore a move away from Stamford Bridge in the summer, putting multiple clubs including Manchester United on alert.

Foreign clubs are eligible to discuss terms for a pre-contract agreement this month, giving them a major advantage in his pursuit. Real Madrid, for one, have already opened formal talks regarding a Bosman move in the summer, but it appears they are now set to face stiff competition from Manchester United.

As the report suggests, the Red Devils are preparing a bumper contract in an attempt to sway Rudiger into joining Old Trafford. Manchester United are already home to Raphael Varane who is one of the highest-paid defenders in the Premier League, and the club believes they can offer a similar pay package to the Chelsea contract rebel.

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)

However, it goes without saying that Manchester United’s desire to sign the Chelsea superstar could result in the sale of some of their existing defensive options. Phil Jones is among the players expected to depart Old Trafford in January amid interest from Newcastle United. The same can be said for Eric Bailly, whereas Axel Tuanzebe’s loan move to Napoli is imminent.

Chelsea, for their part, have already started their search for defensive reinforcements next summer. The Blues are one of the clubs in contention to snap up Bayern Munich defender Niklas Sule, while Thomas Tuchel is also expected to re-enter the market for Jules Kounde after his failed move to Stamford Bridge in late August.

It points to an exciting yet anxious summer transfer window for Chelsea, as they brace themselves for a mass exodus in the defensive unit, with up to four players facing the prospect of a potential departure from Stamford Bridge.

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