Arsenal and Chelsea transfer target Antonio Rudiger set to undergo knee surgery this summer

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Barclays Premier League duo Arsenal and Chelsea have been dealt a major blow in their respective attempts to sign highly-rated German international Antonio Rudiger.

Star Sport have revealed that the Stuttgart defender complained about a knee problem during the club’s first pre-season training session during the week and the Bundesliga outfit fear the youngster will miss the start of the new season.

The club’s director of sport Robin Dutt has revealed Rudiger will require a small surgery which could sideline him for up to a month.

“It’s only going to be a small intervention,” Dutt said.

“All involved agree that the health of the player and his quick recovery have to be the priority,” he added.

Should Rudiger be forced to miss up to four weeks of action, it is likely to scupper any chances of a switch to either one of the London giants as both could now turn their attentions to alternative defensive transfer targets with the start of the new season less than a month away.

The Blues have been tipped to bolster their centre-half options this summer as manager Jose Mourinho looks to bring in a player that can eventually take over from captain John Terry, who will turn 35 during the campaign.

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The reigning Premier League champions have been linked with a host of new centre-halves this summer including Toby Alderweireld [via Mirror Sport], however, they lost out to London rivals Tottenham Hotspur on the signing of the Belgian international [via Guardian Sport]. Their hopes of landing Real Madrid’s Raphael Varane appear to be slim, despite a reported £35.8 million bid [via Metro Sport].

Another rumoured transfer target for the West London outfit is Nicolas Otamendi, who is also attracting interest from Manchester United, as reports over the weekend surfaced in the Express Sport that agent Jorge Mendes was being recruited to hijack a move to Old Trafford for Stamford Bridge instead.

Meanwhile the Gunners are also rumoured to be interested in another defender as they too look for Per Mertesacker’s long-term successor, with the Mirror reporting that they are keen on United defender Jonny Evans.

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