Real Madrid are focused on bringing in big-name free agents next summer and are ready to make an offer for Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger.
The free agency pool is going to be Real’s second home at the end of the season. Paris Saint-Germain’s Kylian Mbappe is their dream target, while there continue to be links to Manchester United’s Paul Pogba.
The expensive signing of Eduardo Camavinga in August has pushed Pogba down on Real’s wish list, and according to ABC, it is Rudiger on whom the Spanish side will focus once their pursuit of Mbappe is over.
Having lost both Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane before this season began, Real are looking to rejig their defence and hope to bring in Rudiger and put him alongside Austrian David Alaba.
The 28-year-old is seen as the perfect target because of his high-level experience on the international stage and the fact that he can be picked up without a transfer fee. Real are reluctant to spend big on senior players and are ready to focus on free agents instead.
ABC’s report suggests that Real are optimistic about being able to land Rudiger as they believe he is ready for a change of scenery, and not particularly concerned about the finances of his next deal. Sources have confirmed to 90min that this is not the case.
Chelsea have offered Rudiger a sizeable pay rise to extend his stay at Stamford Bridge, but the defender’s demands are yet to be met. He wants to become one of the club’s highest earners – Romelu Lukaku earns close to £300,000 per week before tax – but Chelsea have been reluctant to come up so high.
Should the Blues continue to decline, Rudiger would be free to listen to offers once the January transfer window opens, when Real, PSG and Bayern Munich are all expected to pick up the phone to his agent.
Real would be prepared to hand Rudiger a hefty signing-on sum in place of a transfer fee and hope that they can offer an appealing sports project which will convince the German to join up.