Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel is aiming to replace Antonio Rudiger with one of his former stars at Paris Saint-Germain, according to reports.
Rudiger, 28, is gearing up for a Stamford Bridge exit amid intensifying talks with Real Madrid. The centre-back’s Chelsea contract expires in June, which means he can organise a pre-contract agreement with Madrid next month.
Rudiger’s departure would be a huge blow for Tuchel and Chelsea. The German has become one of the best defenders in the world since Tuchel became manager in January.
He forms a solid back-three with Andreas Christensen and Thiago Silva. But Blues officials will now have to start looking at top-class replacements.
Juventus star Matthijs de Ligt is one option. His agent, Mino Raiola, believes the Dutchman is ‘ready’ for a move away from Italy. He will not come cheap though as a €150m (£127m) release clause activates in the summer.
Jules Kounde of Sevilla is also on Chelsea’s radar, although the 23-year-old will be tough to prize away from Spain.
The Sun, who cite French outlet L’Equipe, claim a new star is in Chelsea’s sights.
PSG stalwart Presnel Kimpembe is seen as a worthy successor to Rudiger in west London. The left-footed centre-half has made 15 Ligue 1 appearances this term, of which PSG have won 10.
He has even captained the French outfit on four occasions, showing his ability as a leader.
Kimpembe is happy at the Parc des Princes but would be up for trying out the Premier League, in a major boost for Chelsea. Tuchel is also plotting a charm offensive on the Frenchman – they know each other from Tuchel’s time managing PSG.
Kimpembe is rated at £36m by transfermarkt, although he would likely cost more than that given his importance to Mauricio Pochettino’s side.
Newcastle plot ambitious Chelsea raid
Meanwhile, journalist Christian Falk reckons Newcastle want to sign Timo Werner.
The pacy forward is hoping to form a deadly strike partnership with Romelu Lukaku at Chelsea. But his record stands at just one league goal so far this season.
Falk said: “With Werner, they reckon they’ve got a bit of a chance. They’ve got contacts with the management. One of their players (Fabian Schar) is also managed by the German agency that represents Werner.
“Whether Werner will end up feeling so frustrated at Chelsea and then say ‘I’ll give it a go in Newcastle’ is the big question.”
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