Antonio Rudiger tipped for Liverpool transfer as Chelsea plan for life without defender

By Chris Doyle

Jamie Redknapp has tipped Liverpool to pursue a deal for Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger.

The German centre-half is set to leave Stamford Bridge as a free agent in the summer as contract talks stall.

Rudiger's salary demands are proving to be a stumbling block, but there are reportedly multiple teams lining up to sign him if both parties cannot come to an arrangement.

Rudiger has been a standout performer since Thomas Tuchel arrived at the club, but the uncertainty surrounding his future hasn't been a distraction as he continues to excel for Chelsea this season.

The 28-year-old put in another impressive performance against Tottenham in the second leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final. Rudiger scored the winning goal en route to a 1-0 victory (3-0 on aggregate) as the Blues would book a place at Wembley.

But Redknapp reckons if Rudiger departs west London in the summer, Anfield would be the perfect destination for him, claiming he would perfectly complement Virgil van Dijk in the heart of the Liverpool defence.

Antonio Rudiger scored the winning goal against Spurs (PA)

He said on Sky Sports: "I look at my team, Liverpool. You can imagine him alongside Van Dijk.

"He’s a free transfer in the summer, not going to cost you any money. Just obviously a massive wage is what he will want."

Redknapp reckons Rudiger is one of a kind as he praised his ability to put his body on the line at every opportunity.

He added: "There's not many like him in world football. A lot of centre-backs now, they're nice.

"Not many of them are going to be aggressive, kick you, be in for a fight every time you play against them. That's what Rudiger brings.

"He's a one-off to that extent. If you're Chelsea, you're doing everything (to keep him). But from his point of view he's in a good position, everyone will want him.

"Since Thomas Tuchel came in he's been a revelation. One of the reasons is that back three and certainly because of him."

Chelsea are desperately trying to keep a hold of Rudiger, but they might need to consider the possibility he is moving on next season.

Jamie Redknapp reckons Liverpool could try and sign Rudiger (Sky Sports)

And it seems they are starting to prepare for life potentially without him as Tuchel's men were linked with two centre-backs this week.

L'Equipe claims the Blues are set to revive their interest in Sevilla defender Jules Kounde, who they 'have not lost sight' of after talks broke down over a move in the summer window.

Chelsea are also looking at on Presnel Kimpembe who has yet to commit his future to Paris Saint-Germain.


What is inkl?

Important stories

See news based on value, not advertising potential. Get the latest news from around the world.

Trusted newsrooms

We bring you reliable news from the world’s most experienced journalists in the most trusted newsrooms.

Ad-free reading

Read without interruptions, distractions or intrusions of privacy.