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Manchester United have become the latest club to express an interest in Chelsea's Antonio Rudiger as his contract stand-off rumbles on.
The German centre-back has established himself as an integral member of the Blues' rearguard under Thomas Tuchel but is still yet commit to a new deal, as he nears the final six months of his current contract.
Chelsea remain keen on retaining Rudiger's services but talks have stalled over the 28-year-old's extortionate wage demands, reportedly in the region of £200,000-a-week.
Real Madrid appear in pole position to secure the German's signature while Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich are also believed to be keen.
It now appears as though Ralf Rangnick's United have joined the Rudiger race, with reports in Germany suggesting the Red Devils are an 'additional contender'.
According to Sky Deutschland, United have now ‘entered the transfer poker’, with Chelsea looking increasingly likely to lose one of their defensive stalwarts.
Given his lengthy list of admirers, Rudiger holds all the aces on this one, and could even sign a pre-contract agreement with a foreign club as early as January 1, ahead of free move in the summer.
Speaking ahead of Chelsea's weekend Premier League encounter with Leeds, Tuchel called for patience regarding Rudiger's contract stand-off whilst insisting no player is "bigger than the club".
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"We absolutely accept and are fully aware of the importance of Toni and the role that he’s playing on and off the pitch," Tuchel admitted. "There is no doubt about that.
"It’s true that nobody is bigger than the club and this is a team effort and a strong club. It’s not only about Toni and I mean that in the best way because we know what he’s doing and we’re fully aware of it."
He added: "In the end, we need a bit of patience. I have no update right now."
Rudiger is one of a number of Chelsea defenders whose contracts are up in June, with the Blues also at risk of losing Cesar Azpilicueta, Andreas Christensen and Thiago Silva for free when their current deals expire.
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- Chelsea FC
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