Manchester United are reportedly eyeing a shock move for Real Madrid defender Antonio Rudiger, just a year after the German left Chelsea on a free transfer to join Los Blancos.
Rudiger was a key player for Chelsea during his time in west London, but has found himself rotating in and out of the starting lineup at Madrid, with Carlo Ancelotti often leaving him out of crucial games.
Despite being under contract with the Spanish giants until 2026, Rudiger may be tempted by a return to the Premier League if he is guaranteed regular first-team football in his preferred centre-back position.
United are said to be planning a £51 million offer for the 30-year-old, but Real Madrid president Florentino Perez is reportedly not considering selling Rudiger for any price.
United boss Erik ten Hag has made it clear that he is looking to add a world-class defensive partner to his squad alongside Lisandro Martinez, who joined from Ajax earlier this month.
Raphael Varane’s injury woes have only strengthened ten Hag’s desire to sign a top-class defender, and Rudiger could be the perfect fit.
Last summer, ten Hag poached Casemiro from the Santiago Bernabeu, and the Brazilian midfielder played a crucial role in helping United secure Champions League football.
The Dutchman will be hoping to repeat that success this summer by convincing Rudiger to make the switch to Old Trafford.
United have also been linked with Monaco defender Axel Disasi, but face competition from Newcastle United for his signature.
Chelsea, meanwhile, appear to have finally filled the void left by Rudiger last summer with the signing of his former Monaco teammate, Benoit Badiashile.
It remains to be seen whether United will be able to convince Real Madrid to part ways with Rudiger, but if they are successful, the German defender could be a key addition to their defensive line next season.
With ten Hag at the helm, the Red Devils will be hoping to mount a serious challenge for the Premier League title, and Rudiger could be the missing piece of the puzzle.