Chelsea in talks for €45m defender, Antonio Conte could finally solve headache

Chelsea are reportedly in talks with Roma over a possible deal for defender Antonio Rudiger, although they’re a fair distance apart on the transfer fee.

The 24-year-old has established himself as a top defender in Serie A since joining Roma in 2015, recovering from a serious knee injury a year before last to play in 36 games in all competitions last season.

Combine that with Antonio Conte’s ongoing search for defensive reinforcements, and it’s led to the German international being linked with a move to Stamford Bridge, as per The Guardian.

Chelsea have been desperately searching for a new defender so far this summer, with a whole host of names being linked with a switch, but as of yet, the Premier League champions haven’t been able to bring anyone in to address that area of their squad.

The need for another defender became even more apparent on Friday with Nathan Ake completing his £20m move to Bournemouth, as per the report, and so Conte really does need to make a move sooner rather than later.

According to the Guardian though, Rudiger is keen on a move to Chelsea and his adviser is in London to hold discussions. While that’s the positive side of things, it’s also added that the two clubs are some way off an agreement on a transfer fee, with Roma holding out for €45m, while Chelsea want to pay €35m.

The former Stuttgart defender also offers versatility as he can play as a central defender in a back four, as a right-back or even a right-sided defender in a back three, and that could prove to be very useful to Conte next season and beyond.

However, having seen links with the likes of Leonardo Bonucci and Virgil van Dijk go cold over the last week or so, with those two specifically mentioned as targets in this report, it remains to be seen whether or not Rudiger is the man to finally address the problem.

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