UCL giants closely monitoring £100,000-a-week Chelsea centre-back

The London club centre-back Antonio Rudiger is keen on joining Barcelona in the winter transfer window, according to reports in Spain. The 27-year-old defender has fallen down the pecking order at Chelsea and is yet to play a single minute in the PL this campaign.

With Frank Lampard favouring a partnership of Thiago Silva and Kurt Zouma at the heart of his back-line, Antonio’s future at London club is now in doubt. La Liga giants are in the market for the new centre-back in the winter transfer window and Man City defender Eric Garcia is their primary target.

However, the report claims that if the Blaugrana are unable to bring Garcia back to the Catalan club, their alternative target is Rudiger. The London giants are understood to be willing to cash in on Germany international having signed him in a £34m deal from Roma in 2017.

And the German defender is understood to be open to joining Blaugrana before the campaign ends. Speaking on his future last month, he said: ‘The club didn’t tell me that it was absolutely necessary for me to find a new club and that they definitely didn’t have me in their plans for the next few months. I also turned down one or two options myself.’

I wasn’t prepared to pack it all in simply because I had been left out a few times. I enjoy living in London and like being at Chelsea.’ Joel Matip is also on Blaugrana’s radar but Liverpool are unwilling to part with the centre-back following the long-term injuries to Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez.