Hasan Salihamidzic speaks out on Bayern Munich interest in Antonio Rudiger

Scott Saunders
Hasan Salihamidzic has played down Bayern's interest in Toni Rudiger
Hasan Salihamidzic has played down Bayern's interest in Toni Rudiger / Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

Bayern Munich director of sport Hasan Salihamidzic has played down interest in Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger - just days after the club's manager Julian Nagelsmann heaped praise on the German international.

Rudiger is out of contract next summer, and 90min understands that the German champions are among the front-runners to sign the player. As it stands, Rudiger is looking increasingly likely to leave Stamford Bridge unless his current club make him an offer to become one of their highest earners.

In the past year, Chelsea have only offered the 28-year-old a small pay rise - some way short of the player's expectations given his excellent form since the arrival of manager Thomas Tuchel.

Paris Saint-Germain are also in the running to sign Rudiger, but Bayern's manager Nagelsmann recently hinted at his admiration for the player by claiming he had made "fantastic progress" - also labelling him "one of the most important players in Chelsea's defence".

However, Salihamidzic played down Bayern's interest in the Germany international - instead choosing to focus on what they've already got.

"It’s not okay when we talk about players who are at other clubs," Salihamidizic told DAZN. "Julian said that about him in the press conference, but he is a coach who sees quite a lot of players - so why shouldn’t he evaluate an international and talk about his strengths.

"[Bayern is] really well-staffed at centre-back. We have strengthened ourselves very well and brought in a top player in [Dayot] Upamecano; Lucas Hernandez is there, Tanguy Nianzou is there, Benjamin Pavard can also play inside – we are really very, very well staffed.

"We [Salihamidzic and Nagelsmann] have had very little time; I had an appointment today on Friday. We didn’t see each other for that long, but we talk a lot about players – sure."

The uncertainty over Rudiger's future is sure to continue for some time yet, however, with the player admitting "the most important decision" of his career lies ahead of him.