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5 centre-backs Chelsea could buy to replace Antonio Rudiger

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Villarreal defender Pau Torres after the match against Arsenal in the 2020/2021 Europa League semifinals (c) UEFA Champions League Twitter

Antonio Rudiger has officially parted ways with Chelsea. Rudiger has agreed to join Real Madrid.

At the Santiago Bernabeu, Rudiger agreed to sign a four-year contract. Thus, he will wear the Los Blancos uniform until 2026.

Rudiger joined Chelsea from AS Roma in 2017. During his stay in London, he has developed into one of the best defenders in Europe.

Rudiger leaves Stamford Bridge with five major trophies. He won the FA Cup, Champions League, Europa League, European Super Cup and Club World Cup.

After Rudiger’s departure, Chelsea needed to enter the summer transfer window to find a replacement. There are several central defenders the Blues could consider.

Here are five centre-backs who could replace Antonio Rudiger at Chelsea.

Jules Kunde

Sevilla centre-back Jules Kunde (c) Sevilla’s official Twitter

Jules Kunde has emerged as a quality defender in La Liga. The Frenchman joined Sevilla in 2019 and is now their key player.

Chelsea actually almost got Kunde in the summer transfer window of 2021. However, the Blues failed to reach an agreement with Sevilla regarding the transfer price.

The Blues are reportedly eyeing Kounde again in the summer transfer market this year. Sevilla reportedly will not release the player for less than 65 million euros.

Josko Gvardiol

 

 

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RB Leipzig defender Josko Gvardiol is currently only 20 years old. He has featured regularly for the Bundesliga side after spending last season on loan at Dinamo Zagreb.

Although still young, Gvardiol became a fairly prominent player for Domenico Tedesco’s team. The 20-year-old has made 46 appearances, scoring two goals and providing three assists.

Chelsea became one of the teams that showed a strong interest in bringing him to the Premier League. He could be a long-term asset for Thomas Tuchel’s club.

Wesley Fofana

Wesley Fofana

Leicester City brought in 19-year-old Wesley Fofana from Saint-Etienne in 2020. However, the young French player proved to be a good signing.

Fofana has good attributes as a central defender. He made regular appearances in his first time at the King Power Stadium, making 28 appearances in the Premier League.

Unfortunately, Fofana got a serious injury this season so he only appeared 12 times in all competitions this season. However, Fofana is reportedly on Chelsea’s radar.

Kalidou Koulibaly

Kalidou Koulibaly duels with Edin Dzeko in the match Napoli vs Inter Milan in the 25th week of Serie A 2021/2022

Kalidou Koulibaly is one of the mainstays at the heart of the Napoli defense. He has played for the Partenopei since 2014 after signing from Genk.

Koulibaly has long been linked with a move to the Premier League. With his contract running out next year, the Senegal defender may be time to move to England.

In Serie A, Koulibaly is known as a strong and tough defender. At the age of 30, Koulibaly could be a short-term option for Chelsea.

Pau Torres

Pau Torres and Vicente Iborra celebrate at Bayern Munich vs Villarreal in the 2021/2022 Champions League quarter-final second leg

Pau Torres is a product of the original Villarreal academy. The Spanish defender made his debut for the senior team in 2017.

Now Torres has appeared regularly in the heart of the Villarreal defense. The 25-year-old defender has played 134 games in all competitions and scored 11 goals for The Yellow Submarine.

Torres is under contract with Villarreal until June 2024. Manchester United have been linked with a move for Torres, but Chelsea are believed to be in the hunt for his signature.

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