Manchester City are reportedly trying to close a deal for AS Roma centre-back, Antonio Rudiger, as soon as possible. The Premier League side has reportedly sent their scouting staffs to each and every game that Rudiger has played, and are in huge urgency to get his signature before anyone else gets into the picture.
Premier League arch rivals Chelsea are also known to be long-term admirers of the German international and if City fails to wound him down anytime soon, then a bidding war is expected in the summer. Rudiger’s versatility has been one of the key reasons for Guardiola’s adulation for the 24-year-old. He can play almost anywhere at the back with equal deft and Roma has benefitted hugely from that this season.
As per latest reports, Rudiger would cost City in the region of £30 million. The 190cm enforcer has quite a surprising amount of pace for his big frame and has been stated by many as tailor-made for the Premier League. Manchester City are expected to oversee a large exodus at the end of the season with manager Pep Guardiola looking to fully revamp the side before kickstarting the next campaign, after his first season in England was very much a disappointment.
Rudiger was a member of Joachim Low’s squad in the Euros last year, which was unfortunately shortened by a cruciate ligament injury. The German coach is known to be fond of the player and even prefers him over Jerome Boateng in the centre-half position. But, repeated injuries have greatly hindered Rudiger’s progress. Since making his debut back in 2014, he could only get 10 national caps so far.
City’s back line have come under a lot of criticism lately as opponents have found it easy to infiltrate. And with their best defender, Nicolas Otamendi, also likely to leave for Real Madrid after this season, Rudiger would be a much-needed relief. Though there would be concerns regarding the young player adapting to Guardiola’s setup in the English top flight football, as we have seen with John Stones this season, there is also a huge chance of him being a grand success.
Besides, AS Roma manager Luciano Spaletti works in a similar fluid system and Rudiger has adapted to it very well playing alongside Federico Fazio and Kostas Manolas in a back three. He has played efficiently as the centre-back, left-back and right-back.
Holding on to the ball has been a bit of concern for Rudiger lately, but he could overcompensate that with the aerial dominance. Surely a no brainer for Pep?
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