Tottenham are reportedly slipping behind in the race to sign Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger, despite sporting director Fabio Paratici doing his utmost to try and seal the deal.
The German’s current Stamford Bridge contract runs out at the end of the season and there are clubs queueing up from across Europe to land the 28-year-old on a free transfer, including London rivals Spurs.
Manchester United, Real Madrid, Barcelona, PSG and Bayern Munich are also keen on Rudiger, who is now free to sign a pre-contract with clubs from outside of England.
But so far nothing concrete is happening with the experienced star, despite Rudiger emerging as one of the best centre-back in Europe since Thomas Tuchel took charge in west London.
A switch to Spain still appears the most likely option at this stage. However, that is not stopping Paratici trying his best to land the player for Antonio Conte.
Tottenham’s defensive issues were there for all to see during the successive home defeats to Southampton and Wolves.
And Conte is fully aware that he’ll need to bring in at least two new centre-backs this summer to improve fortunes.
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Rudiger wage demands a huge problem
The major issue for Spurs, however, is Rudiger’s escalating wage demands – as per the report from Football Insider.
They report that the defender is currently holding out for a deal worth more than £300,000-per week. That is after he failed to agree new terms with Chelsea.
A deal of that magnitude would shatter Tottenham’s wage structure. Indeed, Harry Kane is currently their highest earner at £200,000-a-week.
The news will come as a damaging blow to Conte. The Italian knows the need for a massive upgrade in that area of his team.
Things do not get easier for Spurs either, with a trip to free-scoring leaders Manchester City coming up on Saturday.
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