Chelsea have agreed a fee with Roma worth a potential €38m (£33.3m) for Antonio Rüdiger, with the Germany defender expected to fly to London next week to complete a medical.
Roma had been holding out for €45m for a player they signed from Stuttgart last summer after he had impressed on a season-long loan. After rejecting Chelsea’s opening bid of €35m, Roma have accepted a package that means Chelsea pay an initial €33m (£29m) with an extra €5m (£4.3m) in bonus payments.
Rüdiger, who is primarily a central defender but can play at right-back, is expected to earn around €4m (£3.5m) a season. He is playing in the Confederations Cup, in which Germany face Chile in the final on Sunday.
Antonio Conte has been searching for defensive reinforcements despite last season’s Premier league title and identified the 24-year-old as his main target after discussions with the club’s technical staff.
Conte had initially pushed the club to sign Juventus’s Leonardo Bonucci or Southampton’s Virgil van Dijk, while Nathan Aké has been sold to Bournemouth for £20m.
Chelsea are also set to conclude deals for the midfielder Tiémoué Bakayoko from Monaco and the left-back Alex Sandro from Juventus. The arrival of Bakayoko could provide the trigger for Nemanja Matic to join Manchester United.
Moreover, the club have announced the signing of the goalkeeper Willy Caballero, who was out of contract following his spell at Manchester City. The 35-year-old from Argentina will provide cover for Thibaut Courtois following Asmir Begovic’s move to Bournemouth.
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