Real Madrid are intensifying their chase for Antonio Rudiger, with the club keen to ensure they do not lose out on the in-demand defender. The Chelsea star has just over six months remaining on his current contract, and has thus far rejected the Blues' offer of a new deal.

Thomas Tuchel wants to retain the Germany international, and is expected to play a crucial role in Rudiger's decision whether to remain at Stamford Bridge beyond 2022 or seek pastures new. The 28-year-old has established himself as one of the key figures since the former Borussia Dortmund coach's arrival.

Chelsea have been in talks with Rudiger and his agent Sahr Senesie, who is also the defender's half-brother, with regards to a new deal, but their new offer is said to have been rejected, as it did not meet the player or his agent's expectations. The German defender will not be short of suitors with Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United all vying for his services.

A recent report suggested that the Madrid giants already have an informal agreement with Rudiger's agent, but nothing has been signed. According to Sport Italia's Rudi Galetti, Real have now intensified their talks with the 2021 Champions League winner and are said to be keen to conclude talks in the coming weeks.

Real want Rudiger on a free transfer when his contract expires next June, and are hoping to agree a pre-contract with the defender when the January transfer window opens. He will be allowed to talk to clubs outside England and could be inundated with offers from a number of top clubs in Europe.

Tuchel is likely to intervene and Chelsea are expected to return with an improved offer in the coming weeks to ensure he does not enter the New Year with just six months remaining on his deal. However, as it stands it seems like Rudiger will not remain in London beyond the summer of 2022.

Antonio Rudiger
Chelsea's German defender Antonio Rudiger, pictured in early December, says he hopes the offenders will be identified and punished Glyn KIRK/AFP