Newcastle United have emerged as a shock potential destination for Antonio Rudiger, who is out of contract at Chelsea this summer.
The German has been rightly lauded as one of the best defenders in the Premier League over the last 18 months in Chelsea's generally stubborn defence, but seems unlikely to remain at Stamford Bridge next season, with his current deal with the Blues expiring in June and discussions between the player and club having not been productive thus far.
And while Bayern Munich and Real Madrid were thought to be the frontrunners for his signature, the Telegraph report that, in a shocking turn of events, Newcastle United have now entered the fray for the 29-year-old's signature.
Why Newcastle are unlikely to land Rudiger
Despite the links to the German defender, it seems that Newcastle are unlikely to land Rudiger when push comes to shove. They have been bankrolled by their new owners, and spent the most money in January, but have tried to implement a wage structure on Tyneside, that Rudiger would break.
The same Telegraph report claims that 'Newcastle’s takeover by the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia has made them major players in the transfer market. But they have still shown caution in terms of their outlay and are unlikely to smash their wage structure to accommodate players on more than £200,000-a-week.'
Given that Rudiger is thought to be demanding wages in the region of £225,000 per week, this already makes the deal seem like a non-starter, but stranger things have happened in transfer windows.