McLeish verdict on Tottenham swoop for Rudiger as new talks lined up

Antonio Rudiger is starting to “look the business” at Chelsea after Tottenham interest was confirmed, according to Alex McLeish.

The former Scotland boss, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, admitted he was not initially convinced by the 28-year-old during his early days at Stamford Bridge.

As quoted by Sky Sports, the Germany international confirmed he held talks with Jose Mourinho over the phone about a potential move to Spurs last summer.

As revealed by Football Insider on deadline day in October, Tottenham were hopeful of striking a deal for the 28-year-old but the move eventually fell through.

It is understood Chelsea are now planning to offer the centre-back a new contract, although Spurs are still waiting in the wings.

However, McLeish has admitted while Rudiger has impressed at Chelsea, there is no guarantee he would succeed at Spurs.

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McLeish told Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge: I wasn’t really totally convinced with Rudiger in the beginning.

“The fact he’s a Germany international makes you believe he’s a solid defender. He’s looking the business at the moment and he’s not a Germany international for nothing.

“At times I wondered who was the correct partner to play with him at Chelsea as well. Sometimes it’s a lot to do with that. Getting that telepathy between, normally, the triangle of the goalkeeper and the two centre-backs.

“Nowadays obviously we’ve got three at the back, too. I think it takes people time to get used to playing in the Premier League. Especially when they’re playing in a different style in a different country.”

Rudiger has played 21 times for Chelsea this season and has re-established himself as a regular under Thomas Tuchel.

In other news, Wolves are open to re-signing Matt Doherty from Tottenham.