Chelsea are reportedly at the front of the queue in the race to sign Wolfsburg defender Ricardo Rodriguez in a deal worth £21m, ahead of rivals Arsenal.
According to The Sun, the Blues have made contact with the Swiss international’s agent to determine whether or not he would be willing to move to Stamford Bridge this month.
Further, it’s claimed that Antonio Conte is hoping that a fee of around £21m will do the trick in convincing the Bundesliga outfit to sell, while Arsenal may still have something to say about the matter given that they have reportedly been tracking Rodriguez for the past couple of months.
The 24-year-old has been a reliable presence for club and country for a significant period of time, and so in that sense, it comes as no surprise that some of the leading clubs in the Premier League are chasing his signature.
Chelsea’s interest is understandable for two reasons. Firstly, Conte will want to strengthen while he can and bolster his squad in order sustain their title push this season.
Further, it looks more and more likely that they will at least qualify for the Champions League next season, and he can’t ask Marcos Alonso to run up and down the left flank two or three times a week, so a new full-back is necessary for squad depth.
In terms of Arsenal, Nacho Monreal has been criticised this season as he looks a step off the pace, while Kieran Gibbs continues to battle injuries and is not certain to be offered a new deal with his current contract set to expire at the end of the season.
The reasons are clear as to why both teams are interested, but it remains to be seen who wins the race to sign Rodriguez as ultimately the report suggests that Chelsea are more likely to prevail.