Inter Milan and Juventus have reportedly bowed out of the race for Chelsea star Antonio Rudiger, which could be due to his salary demands.

According to Calciomercato, Serie A giants Juventus and Inter Milan are set to end their interest in Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger. After rejecting a new deal at the Premier League club, the German international seems poised to leave Stamford Bridge as a free agent in the summer.

As soon as it became clear that Rudiger could leave Chelsea on a free transfer, many big clubs have queued up for his signature. There has been considerable interest in the German international, but the defender has yet to agree on a contract for next season and beyond with any club.

Rudiger endured a difficult period under Frank Lampard, but Thomas Tuchel’s appointment last year turned things around dramatically for the 28-year-old. The German defender has since become a key part of the Premier League side and developed himself into one of the best players in his position in world football.

However, having allowed him to run down his existing deal, Chelsea now face the prospect of losing him for nothing in the summer. The Blues’ recent offer was reportedly rejected by Rudiger, who is seeking a pay package that reflects his status as one of the best centre-backs in Europe. Hence, it is no surprise that a host of elite clubs are chasing the German defender.

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Serie A giants Inter Milan and Juventus had also shown an interest in the Blues defender. However, they are now considering bowing out of the race altogether.

Juventus’ well-documented financial troubles will have made them wary of paying a huge salary to Rudiger, as they have already invested a massive chunk in other areas with the recent signings of Denis Zakaria and Dusan Vlahovic. Moreover, their central defence looks fairly settled right now despite veterans Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci approaching the end of their careers.

Rudiger’s demands could be out of their financial means given their recent issues. The same goes for Inter Milan, who have had economic issues in recent months. Their condition forced them to sell Romelu Lukaku and Achraf Hakimi in the summer, although the big issue would be to shift existing defenders.

Inter Milan have a stable back three of Stefan de Vrij, Alessandro Bastoni and Milan Skriniar, who have proved their mettle. That aside, the Nerazzurri may not have the resources to satisfy Rudiger’s exorbitant salary demands over a long-term contract, despite his potential arrival on a free transfer.

Even Real Madrid have reportedly pulled out of the race recently due to Rudiger’s heavy demands. A stay at Chelsea is yet to be ruled out completely, but all signs point towards an imminent exit in the summer. However, a move to either Inter Milan or Juventus could be off the table as things stand.

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