Man Utd boost in Antonio Rudiger transfer chase as Barcelona ‘hesitate’ over free move for Chelsea defender

MANCHESTER United have been handed a boost in their pursuit of defensive reinforcements after Barcelona’s bid for Anthonio Rüdiger stalled.

The Chelsea defender is likely to leave Stamford Bridge this summer with his contract expiring at the end of the season.

Rudiger could be staying in the Prem once Chelsea deal expires in the summerCredit: Getty

Barcelona have emerged as the favourites to secure the German defender in recent weeks, although he has also been linked with rivals Real Madrid, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain.

Rudiger reportedly ‘snubbed a £200,000 a week’ contract renewal with Chelsea in February, with the 29-year-old apparently seeking a more lucrative deal.

However, after Roman Abramovich’s assets were frozen the sanctions placed on the club include a ban on negotiating new contracts.

Those restrictions would be lifted once a new owner is confirmed, but that could be too late, with Rudiger currently able to negotiate terms with foreign clubs.

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News Barcelona’s bid has stalled after “hesitating” over the move could open the door for Man Utd to enhance their defensive options.

While the Old Trafford club are not short in terms of numbers in the central defensive positions, performances this season suggest they are low on quality.

The club have conceded 42 Premier League in 31 matches, which is more than double that of league leaders Manchester City.

Former player Paul Parker suggested Harry Maguire should be stripped of the captaincy, while Raphaël Varane has struggled with injuries and the form of back-up Victor Lindelöf has been inconsistent.

Rüdiger joined Chelsea from Roma for an initial £29m in July 2017, shortly after helping Germany win the Confederations Cup.

Since signing he has helped the club win the UEFA Champions League, Europa League, Super Cup, FIFA Club World Cup, FA Cup and and EFL Cup competitions.


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