As the German international prepares for a possible departure from Stamford Bridge next summer, Antonio Rudiger has become one of the most in-demand defenders on the market. His current deal with the club is set to expire after the season, with no indication of possible renewal.

Rudiger is rumored to have had a falling out with the Chelsea board over their refusal to grant him a lucrative contract. With his German colleagues Kai Havertz and Timo Werner earning much more, the defender is willing to quit the club in search of a better deal.

While Barcelona and Real Madrid have indicated an interest in signing the former Stuttgart center-back for next season, there have also been rumors about a possible transfer to direct Premier League opponents. Tottenham Hotspur is one of the clubs interested in signing the seasoned player, who has had tremendous success under Thomas Tuchel's leadership.

Rudiger's situation at Stamford Bridge has recently been updated by Sky Sports. According to the English news site, the defender is not in a rush to sign a pre-contract and is willing to consider all of his choices, including the prospect of staying in West London longer.

"Antonio Rudiger, a Chelsea defender, has stated that he is not in a hurry to sign a pre-contract arrangement. In their Football Daily broadcast, Sky Sports said that "signing a new deal at Stamford Bridge has not been ruled out."

However, the report suggests that if Chelsea wants to keep their star player, they would have to invest a lot of money. To keep him, Chelsea would have to offer him the highest-paid defender in the Premier League," the broadcast said.

Raphael Varane is often considered to be the highest-paid player in the Premier League at the moment. After joining Real Madrid in the summer, the Manchester United defender earns a stunning £340k a week at Old Trafford.

While Rudiger is widely considered as one of Europe's top defenders, any English team, much alone Chelsea, may find it impossible to come up with such a sum, especially as the epidemic continues to spread across Europe thanks to the recent discovery and spread of the Omicron type.