Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger has been linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge at the end of the season according to ParisSportif.fr.
The 28-year-old German international has established himself as one of the best defenders in the league but he is nearing the end of his contract with the Londoners.
According to Florian Plettenberg from Sky Germany, the defender’s agent has held talks with Barcelona regarding a free transfer at the end of the season.
Apparently, the player’s representatives met with the Spanish club’s officials on Wednesday and the meeting lasted for three hours. The Catalan giants are keen on signing the German defender on a free transfer.
🚨Exclusive #Rüdiger: Secret negotiations in Barcelona! On Wednesday night Alemany, Cruyff & ARs agent Senesie met in the hotel „The Barcelona Edition“. The appointment went three hours. Barca wants Rüdiger as a free agent! @SkySports @Sky_Marc #CFC pic.twitter.com/6VNAhvSm62— Florian Plettenberg (@Plettigoal) March 31, 2022
Barcelona have been linked with the likes of Andreas Christensen and Cesar Azpilicueta as well.
It is no secret that Barcelona will have to improve defensively in order to challenge for the league title and the Champions League title next season.
Signing a top-class defender like Rudiger on a free transfer would be a masterstroke from the Spanish outfit.
Barcelona are currently going through financial difficulties and they will have to snap up bargain buys in order to strengthen their squad sufficiently this summer.
Rudiger has already proven his quality in the Premier League and the chance to showcase his quality with Barcelona could be an attractive option for him next season.
The Champions League winning defender could improve Barcelona immensely at the back and it remains to be seen whether the Spanish outfit can lure him away from Stamford Bridge in the coming months.
There have been reports that Chelsea are keen on holding on to the player for the long term but the two parties have not been able to agree on a new contract. It seems that the Blues are unwilling to meet the defender’s demand of a significant pay rise.
Losing a player of his quality could be a damaging blow for any club but to lose someone like Rudiger on a free transfer would be a devastating blow for the London club, especially when Christensen is expected to depart on a free as well.