Chelsea are reportedly interested in signing a centre-back in the summer. The Blues have prepared a three-man shortlist of defenders to pursue, as Thomas Tuchel looks to bring in someone to bolster his defensive ranks.
Metro believes the Blues' three-man shortlist is comprised of Bayern Munich's Niklas Sule, RB Leipzig's Ibrahima Konate and Atletico Madrid's Jose Gimenez. Manchester United, Barcelona and Real Madrid are also reportedly interested in signing Konate.
Thomas Tuchel has experimented with his centre-back pairing since taking charge at Chelsea, but one ever-present in his defense has been his compatriot Antonio Rudiger. The German has played in 12 of Chelsea's 13 games under Tuchel and has been immense for the Blues.
According to The Athletic, Antonio Rudiger's reluctance to extend his deal at Stamford Bridge has prompted Chelsea to look for the German's replacement. Rudiger's current contract at Chelsea expires at the end of next season, but the defender is ready to wait until after the European Championships before deciding whether to commit his long-term future at the club.
Rudiger has had a career resurgence under Thomas Tuchel this season. The German was barely used in the previous regime under Frank Lampard, but has been a stalwart in defense under Tuchel. Another reason why Chelsea are in the market for a centre-back is to find a natural replacement for the aging Thiago Silva. The Brazilian will be 37-years old at the start of next season and is in the twilight of his career.
Thomas Tuchel has changed Chelsea's fortunes
Chelsea were in free-fall towards the end of Frank Lampard's reign. The Blues went through a terrible run of form which saw them languishing in 9th on the Premier League table. This torrid run culminated with Chelsea parting ways with Lampard and appointing Thomas Tuchel as their new manager.
Since then, Chelsea have been airtight at the back under the German, having only conceded twice in his first 13 games in charge. The Blues have also been undefeated since Tuchel's appointment back in January.
Chelsea now find themselves in 4th in the Premier League and in the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League. With the form they are in, it is quite possible that they finish in the top 4 of the league.