Juventus Ready to Battle It Out For Top-Class Premier League Defender

Juventus have joined the race to sign outgoing Chelsea centre-back Antonio Rudiger to replace retiring ace Giorgio Chiellini. According to The Sun, the Italians are ready to go head-to-head with a host of Europe’s elite clubs to sign the German defender.

It remains uncertain whether Chiellini would stay at Juventus beyond the summer. The 37-year-old has been a defensive mainstay in Turin over the past 18 years, making over 400 appearances for the Bianconeri since moving from Fiorentina in 2004.

Chiellini has earned a household status at Juventus, but recurring injury problems have severely damaged his playing time this season. Even if he decides to commit to another year, the Italian veteran’s first-team opportunities will have to be carefully managed next season. 

Besides, Juventus are staring at the prospect of losing highly-rated Matthijs de Ligt to Barcelona in the upcoming transfer window. The Dutchman has yet to pledge his future to the Allianz Stadium, with the high-flying La Liga powerhouse waiting in the wings.

Therefore, Juventus are scouring the market for potential defensive reinforcements, and they seem to have found a solution in the shape of Rudiger. Despite developing into a key figure at Stamford Bridge, the 29-year-old is seemingly on the cusp of waving goodbye to west London at the end of the season.

After refusing to pen a contract extension, Rudiger will be free to choose his next destination in the summer. Several top clubs have already laid their eyes on him, including Manchester United, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich. 

Given the uncertainty surrounding Chelsea amid sanctions imposed on Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, it is hard to expect the Blues to convince their star defender to stay put. Abramovich has already put the club up for sale. However, it has yet to be seen who will purchase the reigning Champions League holders.

Meanwhile, Juventus have showcased their ability to land top players without paying a dime over the past decade. Rudiger fits the profile, as Massimiliano Allegri hopes to outmaneuver stiff competition for the German’s signature.