We’ve had weirder links this offseason, but maybe not many. The Athletic (£) released a story on Friday stating that Tottenham Hotspur are targeting Chelsea central defender Antonio Rudiger for a season-long loan, and suggesting that Spurs’ pursuit of Inter Milan’s Milan Skriniar has all but collapsed with two days to go in the summer transfer window.
According to The Athletic, the 28-year old Rudiger has been frozen out of the side under Frank Lampard, and despite his accusations of racial abuse from Spurs fans last season, Tottenham is his preferred destination, should Chelsea consent to let him go. That’s the main issue — Tottenham and Chelsea simply do not do business and haven’t for a long time, meaning even if both Spurs and Rudiger wanted to work something out before the deadline Chelsea may decline the deal, unless Rudiger were to sign a one-year contract extension with the Blues. Barcelona, Inter Milan, AC Milan, and Roma have also expressed interest in Rudiger.
Rudiger’s a perfectly fine defender, and he’d be a solid addition to a central defense corps that could use another member this season. If the Skriniar deal is unlikely, and with Kim Min-Jae unlikely to leave China until maybe January, Rudiger might be about as good a defender as Spurs could expect to get on short notice. A one-year loan might also benefit all parties, if Chelsea can put their long-simmering resentment over Spurs playing hard-ball over Luka Modric to bed after so many years.
Yes, Rudiger has HISTORY with Tottenham, especially after last season, and it’s kind of hard to imagine that he’d ever be a fan favorite at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, but he’s a pretty good player. I’m not thrilled with the idea, but there’s nothing he’s done that some good performances in a lilywhite shirt can’t help ameliorate. If Spurs fans can accept William Gallas, who played for Chelsea AND Arsenal, surely Rudiger can get a chance?