Manchester United are one of four Premier League sides interested in signing Germany international defender Antonio Rudiger in the January transfer window, per the Daily Mail.
The Roma centre-back, who can also play as a right-back, could be forced to leave Serie A so that the Luciano Spalletti-managed side can comply with UEFA’s financial fair play regulations.
Premier League contention for Rudiger’s signature
Spalletti does not want to lose Rudiger, with the 23-year-old one of Roma’s key players in the backline, but the Italian boss knows the club will be in a difficult situation if they receive a good offer.
Although one of the bigger clubs in Serie A, Roma want to avoid having sanctions placed against them for a second consecutive year for financial fair play-related reasons. Therefore, they will consider selling the former Stuttgart defender in the upcoming winter window.
However, although United’s defensive problems have been well documented under Jose Mourinho, they will not be alone in vying for Rudiger’s signature.
Indeed, United will have to compete with Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City to sign Rudiger, with all those sides having defensive troubles of their own this season.
Rudiger in racism row
The news of several English sides’ interest in Rudiger comes just days after the defender was at the centre of a racism scandal in the Rome derby on Sunday.
Rudiger was on the winning side as Roma saw off Lazio with a 2-0 win, but the defender was alleged by opposition left-back Senad Lulic to have provoked him and his teammates throughout the tie.
Lulic said Rudiger “acts like some phenomenon” after strangely pointing out that “he was selling socks and belts in Stuttgart” just two years ago. The Bosnian defender added that those around him hadn’t “taught him good manners”, but his club have since apologised for the comments.