Barcelona have been linked with a move for Chelsea centre-back Antonio Rüdiger, who is increasingly expected to leave Stamford Bridge before deadline day..
Rüdiger has fallen down the pecking order this year following the arrival of Thiago Silva from Paris Saint-Germain in the summer. He was dropped from the squad to face Liverpool in the Premier League and was also left at home for Wednesday's win over Barnsley.
Now Chelsea's fifth-choice centre-back, Rüdiger is expected to leave the club before the transfer window shuts, but The Telegraph note that a loan exit will be the most-likely outcome. Paris Saint-Germain and Napoli are seen as leading candidates for his signature, but Kicker believe Barcelona will throw their hat into the ring.
Barça are on the lookout for a new centre-back this summer. Clément Lenglet is guaranteed to stay at Camp Nou and will likely line up alongside Gerard Piqué, but things are far less certain behind that pair.
Club officials hope to finally offload Samuel Umtiti this summer, and fellow Frenchman Jean-Clair Todibo is also being pushed towards the exit door. Should both players leave as hoped, Barcelona would be left with just 21-year-old Ronald Araújo as cover.
Manchester City's Eric García sits at the top of their wish list, but Barcelona are reluctant to pay a big fee for the Spaniard as he has just one year remaining on his contract and could be signed for free in just six months.
That's where a move for Rüdiger comes in. He has been made available for loan this summer and could fill the void in Barça's squad for the rest of this season while they wait to be able to land García for free.
However, Mundo Deportivo do their best to dispel this rumour by stating that Barcelona have no interest in Rüdiger, despite their stumbling pursuit of García.
If Barcelona did launch a loan bid, Chelsea would likely be willing to agree to such a deal. While they would prefer a permanent exit for the German, a loan move is seen as realistic in the current market, and as long as his wages are covered, the Blues should be fairly easy to convince.
It could all come down to the future of fellow Chelsea man Fikayo Tomori, who has an offer to leave the Bridge and join Everton on loan.
Chelsea must make a decision on one of the players. At the moment, it seems as though Rüdiger will be the man cast away from the club, but if Tomori pushes for more regular game time, he could be shipped out to Everton instead.
Source : 90min