Manchester United have reportedly expressed interest in signing Chelsea center-back Antonio Rudiger, who will be out of contract at the end of the season.

The Germany international has established himself as a major part of Thomas Tuchel’s squad, especially as his compatriot took over from Frank Lampard as manager in January. However, the 28-year-old will be free to leave next summer if the Blues fail to convince him to sign a new deal.

Tuchel wants Rudiger to stay, but the powerful defender is exploring all options before deciding on his future.

Spanish giants Real Madrid are said to be leading the hunt for Rudiger’s signing, although Tottenham are also enthusiastic. A recent rather fanciful report also claimed Liverpool were also in contention.

But now The Independent says that Uni have registered their own interest in the former Roma star.

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The Red Devils only signed Raphael Varane last summer, but Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly have all struggled in the past two seasons.

Bailly looks sure to move on, either in January or next summer, leaving a vacancy for another center-back. And Rudiger would certainly be a big improvement over what Ralf Rangnick currently has at his disposal – other than Varane.

Rangnick also knows the player well, having met him during Rudiger’s time in Stuttgart.

However, it looks like a desperate chase for United and Spurs – with a move to Spain most likely.

Rudiger would be in favor of a move to Realbecause he doesn’t want to play for one of Chelsea’s Premier League rivals.

The report adds that an “informal agreement” has already been reached with the representative of Rudiger and Madrid following discussions last month. But a contract has not yet been signed.

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Tuchel counts on Rudiger’s stay

One thing is certain, if Rudiger leaves Stamford Bridge, Tuchel will be devastated.

Speaking about the player’s future last month, he said: “He’s been exceptional from day one until now. I hope it stays that way.

“Defensively we’re strong as usual and they deserve praise for that.

“They do a lot of invisible work, they protect themselves, support each other and are brave to attack. We want to be dangerous on set pieces.

“Everyone wants him to stay, it’s clear and he knows it. But sometimes there is a delay in these things and obviously there is a delay.

“It can happen nowadays but it doesn’t affect his mentality, it doesn’t affect his quality, it doesn’t affect his behavior.

“He’s fully committed to Chelsea right now. I’m absolutely sure he feels the trust, respect and love from the club and the spectators.

“He knows what he has here, a fantastic club, a fantastic league. He’s a competitor.

“We will have a little patience and hope for a happy ending. “

READ MORE: Tuchel wary of void left by Chelsea man ‘everyone wants’


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