Chelsea could strike Juventus swap deal in hunt for Antonio Rudiger replacement

Thomas Tuchel on Antonio Rudiger leaving Chelsea

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Chelsea could sign Juventus defender Matthijs de Ligt as a direct replacement for Antonio Rudiger this summer, according to reports. Juve are interested in signing Chelsea left-back Emerson Palmieri so a player-plus cash deal could be struck.

Rudiger will leave the Blues at the end of the season upon the expiry of his contract. He is set to join La Liga giants Real Madrid on a free transfer.

De Ligt has been linked with a move to Stamford Bridge in recent windows and it appears there is still interest in the Holland international. Italian outlet Tuttosport says Chelsea could make an approach for De Ligt in the coming months.

Rudiger may not be the only defender who leaves the Blues, with Andreas Christensen also out of contract and reportedly in talks with Barcelona. So signing a defender will be high on the agenda for Thomas Tuchel, with Goal claiming there are four other targets on his wishlist.

Juve, meanwhile, want to sign a left-back and Emerson is their top target. The Italian is currently on loan at French club Lyon but is set to return to west London in the summer.

The Brazil-born star has already had spells in Italy with Palermo and Roma before joining Chelsea in 2018. De Ligt and Emerson both see their respective contracts expire in 2024.

However, De Ligt at 22 is set to be worth more than Emerson, who could be used as a makeweight in a deal. Chelsea are yet to decide on how much they would want for the 27-year-old defender but Tuchel’s willingness to let him go on loan this season shows he is likely not a big part of his plans moving forward.

De Ligt joined Juve from Ajaz in 2019 for a fee of around £63million. Tuchel will have big shoes to fill when Rudiger does leave.

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Speaking about the German this week, Tuchel admitted his decision to leave was not one anyone at the club agrees with. The Blues boss said: “I don’t think anybody likes it.

“He gives everybody confidence in the dressing room. He is a unique character and plays on an outstanding level. He sometimes takes the focus towards him, he loves responsibility.

“Nobody likes this decision but we have to accept it. Like it or not there will be life at Chelsea after Toni. It is also the most important thing for us that it ends like it started, on the highest level.”

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