Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has confirmed that Antonio Rudiger will leave at the end of the season. The center-back’s contract is up in the summer and is ready to leave as a free agent. Moreover, Chelsea are also on the verge of losing Andreas Christensen and Cesar Azpilicueta. The duo’s contracts are up as well in the summer. As a result, the Blues have started searching for Rudiger’s replacement. Many names have already been rumored with a move to Stamford Bridge, a new player has joined the list.
Chelsea tried to snatch Jules Kounde from Sevilla’s hands last summer. However, the Spanish club demanded a mammoth fee which Chelsea were unwilling to pay. But the Londoners will have to splash the money if they are to reinforce their defence in the summer market. Rudiger has been a brick wall for Chelsea over the years, playing a crucial role in the club winning the Champions League, Super Cup, and Club World Cup. Chelsea are in dire need of someone as commanding as the German in their backline.
La Razón now report that Chelsea want Villarreal’s Pau Torres. The young center-back is heavily impressing with the Yellow Submarines in the league as well as in European competitions. The Europa League winner is attracting many of the top clubs, with Chelsea now pursuing him.
Chelsea willing to go big for replacing Rudiger
Pau Torres is an integral part of Villarreal’s squad and the club would demand a huge fee to part ways. Chelsea have anticipated the situation and prepared their offer accordingly. The 25-year-old has a release clause of £50 million on his current deal, and Chelsea are ready to sign the cheque. Furthermore, given his age, Torres is in the prime of his career and deemed as a long-term replacement for Rudiger by Chelsea.
Torres has performed massively over the last few years which justifies his demand in the market. The defender has amassed 127 appearances for Villarreal so far, with 40 of those coming this season. A first-team regular, Torres has helped Villarreal reach the Champions League semi-finals this season. Torres has clocked decent numbers this season, averaging almost a tackle, 3.3 clearances, 1.9 aerial duels won, and an impressive 4.5 long-balls per game.
Moreover, Chelsea will be getting their hands on a well-disciplined player if they sign Torres. The Villarreal defender has only 5 yellow cards in 40 games and hasn’t conceded a penalty yet. Torres also played a crucial role in Villarreal‘s Europa League triumph last season. He played the full 120 minutes of the final and scored his spot-kick as well in the shootout.
According to transfer guru Fabrizio Romano, the Blues have even sent their scouts to watch Torres. However, it won’t be easy for Chelsea to sign their Rudiger replacement. The Blues will have to compete with both the Manchester clubs for Torres’ signing as revealed by Romano. Incoming United manager Erik ten Hag has reportedly made Torres his prime target for the Red Devils.
Furthermore, given Chelsea’s troubles with the government sanctions, the Blues are currently barred from making any transfer activity. Chelsea will only be able to replace Rudiger once the sanctions are lifted.
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