Manchester United don’t expect to sign Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger this summer, despite holding “exploratory discussions” with the player’s representatives, according to the MEN journalist Samuel Luckhurst.
The reporter claims that Rudiger wants to join a team that are guaranteed to be playing in the Champions League next season, which is not something the Red Devils can promise:
United want to sign a centre-back in the summer to shore up a defence that could end with worst top-flight record since 1978-79. Up to three centre-backs could also go #mufc https://t.co/mvAOQbZSv6
— Samuel Luckhurst (@samuelluckhurst) April 18, 2022
As Luckhurst points out, United will be actively looking to sign a new centre-back in the coming months. Eric Bailly, Phil Jones and Axel Tuanzebe could all be sold, leaving Harry Maguire and Raphael Varane as the team’s only two options.
It is, therefore, not surprising that the club have held talks with Rudiger, considering he will likely be available on a free transfer at the end of the season. With the German unlikely to be a realistic target, though, attention will switch to other potential candidates.
Villarreal’s Pau Torres was pursued last year, and the Spanish international could well come back into consideration as United look to reinforce a key area of the team.