Premier League champions Chelsea have confirmed their first spending of the summer after announcing the arrival of German defender Antonio Rudiger from Italian side Roma.
The 24-year-old has finally made the move to Stamford Bridge, signing a five-year-deal after a protracted saga, with his initial fee of £29m reportedly set to rise as high as £33.3m.
The former Stuttgart man, who can be deployed either as a centre-half or out on the right, comes in a the Blues’ first major deal of the summer, after former Manchester City ‘keeper Willy Caballero was brought in on a free having left The Etihad at the end of last season.
Manager Antonio Conte has been on a mission to bolster his defensive ranks ever since his arrival in west London, something which will be crucial to their success over the coming years with Champions League football now back on the calendar.
There may well be. Just because Conte has got one defender in this summer don’t expect the deal for the £21.25m-rated defender to be the end of things.
Rudiger is not a marquee addition at the back. In time the German, who has just returned from international duty where he won the Confederations Cup with the World Cup winners, could become a mainstay at the back for Conte, but it would be naive to rule out further options this summer, especially following the departure of both John Terry and Nathan Ake.
With the former Juventus boss seemingly hell bent on making his mark on the European stage in the new season, as well as defending their Premier League title, quality depth will be vital – meaning the likes of Virgil van Dijk could still well be on their way to the Bridge.