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Tottenham dealt transfer blow as AC Milan enter race for Chelsea target

AC Milan have opened talks ahead of a loan move for Chelsea defender Anotnio Rudiger. Tottenham had been linked with a swoop for the German international, but the Italian club could win the race, with a season-long loan deal mooted.

Rudiger is surplus to requirements at Chelsea, particularly since the signing of Thiago Silva pushed him down the pecking order further.

In fact, the 27-year-old is yet to make an appearance for Frank Lampard’s side this season, as they look to offload players of deadline day.

Spurs had been linked with a move for Rudiger, but reports have suggested the Blues would rather not sell to a direct rival.

Along with Spurs and AC Milan, PSG have also been linked with a potential swoop for the central defender, although his high wages could be an issue for the French champions.

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“There are a number of players that PSG are interested in and there’s a couple at Chelsea actually,” French football expert Jonathan Johnson told Sky Sports News.

“The problem for PSG is that they need to raise funds, quite a significant amount actually of around €60million (£54m) between transfer fees and wages.

“So PSG are exclusively looking into the loan market and the hope is to be able to strengthen in defence.

“[Antonio] Rudiger is a player that both Leonardo [PSG sporting director] and Thomas Tuchel are very happy with however the issue is trying to convince Chelsea to part with him on loan.”

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Based on a report in the Athletic, Rudiger’s preference is to remain in the Premier League, but could be forced to change his plans, if a move across London doesn’t materialise.

And according to Sky Sports, Milan are set to win the race, holding talks with Chelsea over sealing a loan deal.

Former Chelsea forward Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink has warned his old side that selling Rudiger would be a bad decision, labelling him as their best defender.

“They’ve all made mistakes but for me their best centre-back is Rudiger,” he told Sky Sports last week. “At the end of last season he didn’t have his best spell, he was out of the team but if you look at a whole season he has done the best.

“He normally smells danger and he clears it up. For Rudiger not to have played yet something is going on.”

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Chelsea kept their first Premier League clean sheet of the season this weekend, beating Crystal Palace 4-0 at home.

Lampard opted to start Kurt Zouma alongside Silva, with the pair showing good chemistry in their first game together.

Spurs meanwhile, thrashed Manchester United 6-1 in a dazzling display at Old Trafford.

Heung-Min Son, Harry Kane, Tanguy Ndombele and Serge Aurier all scored, as Mourinho inflicted the worst home defeat in almost nine years on his old employers.

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