Antonio Rudiger 'definitely leaving' Chelsea amid Liverpool transfer link

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Reported Liverpool summer transfer target Antonio Rudiger is ‘definitely leaving’ Chelsea, according to former Arsenal midfielder and now pundit Paul Merson.

Rudiger under Blues boss Thomas Tuchel has stepped up his game immensely to become one of the leading defenders in European football.

With his contract expiring next summer, the Germany international will be able to talk to teams outside England when the winter transfer window opens on January 1.

Reds manager Jurgen Klopp currently has a plethora of options at centre-back in Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip, Joe Gomez and Ibrahim Konate, who arrived from RB Leipzig in the last transfer window.

But signing a player the calibre of Rudiger is one Liverpool may not be able to pass up, especially on a free transfer, and Merson is under the impression that there is no way he will commit to the Blues.

“Chelsea are going to miss Antonio Rudiger when he goes because it will take £60-70m to replace him,” Merson said in the Daily Star.

“Rudiger is definitely leaving. If he wanted to sign a new contract he would have done it by now. There’s no chance he stays now.

“Teams will be queuing round the block now to sign him, and someone will pay him a lorryload of money to join them.”

Van Dijk has been a revelation since he returned from injury this season, while Matip has impressed alongside him when fit.

Konate is still adapting to the club and last played 90 minutes in the Champions League win over Porto at the end of last month.

Gomez is nearing a return from injury but Klopp said that he will not be available for Saturday’s clash against Wolverhampton Wanderers.

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