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Barcelona, AS Roma join the race for Antonio Rüdiger — report

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Manchester City v Chelsea - FA Community Shield Photo by Matt McNulty - Manchester City/Manchester City FC via Getty Images

Antonio Rüdiger, who did not feature in tonight’s win over Barnsley, looks like the one who will make way after the arrival of Thiago Silva led to one too many centre backs at Chelsea, and while Silva’s old club, PSG were initially mentioned as one of the interested parties, more clubs have now joined the fray, as expected.

According to Kicker, Barcelona as well as Rüdiger’s former club, AS Roma, are also interested in the 27-year-old’s services. There is also interest from Premier League sides apparently — Liverpool had been linked at the start of the summer already — but it’s unlikely that we will want to sell to a direct rival.

Rudiger himself is said to be surprised by his recent omissions from the squad, especially when he was a mainstay for most of last season — with Chelsea even reportedly wishing to extend his contract beyond 2022 at one point — but has now come to the realization that he is behind Chelsea’s all other centre backs in the pecking order.

While Rüdiger could still try and win his place in the starting lineup, he doesn’t want to risk losing his place in the ever-competitive Germany squad. With the European Championships now scheduled for next summer, he is looking for a move that would give him the minutes needed to stay in the national team.

Of course, Barcelona and Roma are only interested in a loan deal for now while Chelsea would want to see him depart permanently, considering that his contract expires in two years and his valuation will plummet come next summer. A loan with a buying obligation appears to be the most viable option at this stage, unless Chelsea can pull off some late miracle and sell him before the transfer window slams shut on 5th October.