Barcelona reportedly remain in contention to sign Chelsea centre-back Antonio Rudiger, who is expected to leave Stamford Bridge in the summer.

German reporter Florian Plettenberg has dropped a bombshell update on Antonio Rudiger. It appears the Chelsea defender’s agent was recently involved in a meeting with key Barcelona decision makers Mateu Alemany and Jordi Cryuff, exploring the possibility of a summer move to Camp Nou.

The meeting lasted around three hours, and it is believed that Barcelona could emerge as a late front-runner in the race to sign the German international. Rudiger certainly has no intentions of prolonging his stay at Stamford Bridge, especially amid Chelsea’s ongoing ownership crisis that has left the future of the club in limbo.

Not to mention, the Blues have been effectively barred from holding renewal talks with any of the existing stars. It has prompted Rudiger to look for a new club in the summer, with the Chelsea defender being majorly linked with a move to Juventus.

However, there have been recent discrepancies over personal terms, with the defender reportedly demanding a €10 million-a-season salary. It has paved the way for FC Barcelona to enter the chase, as the Catalans look to steal a march in the pursuit of the Chelsea centre-back this summer.

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)

Barcelona’s interest in Rudiger stems from the uncertain futures of two of the team’s existing defensive stars, Clement Lenglet and Samuel Umtiti. The former has been linked with a summer move to Newcastle United, whereas Umtiti could be on the verge of a potential return to Lyon.

Their potential exit could open up the opportunity for Barcelona to offer Rudiger a lucrative deal. It will come under the additional benefit of becoming the key central defensive figure in Xavi Hernandez’s setup at Barcelona that is shaping up well after almost five months of hard work.

However, Rudiger certainly is not the only defensive target for Barcelona in the summer, with the Catalans also having a verbal agreement with Chelsea defender Andreas Christensen. Curiously, they have been in contention to sign Cesar Azpilicueta as well, though all the three Chelsea defenders joining Camp Nou appears to be an unlikely proposition.

Also Read: Chelsea and Abramovich in limbo: What do the UK government sanctions mean for the club?

Nevertheless, it will be interesting to see if the recent meeting with Rudiger’s agent bears any fruits for Barcelona as we gear up for an exciting summer ahead.

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