Exclusive: Chelsea blow as injury scuppers deal for £8m Germany defender

Chelsea won't sign Germany and Stuttgart defender Antonio Rudiger this summer, The Sport Review has learned

Chelsea are very unlikely to sign Stuttgart defender Antonio Rudiger this summer, The Sport Review can reveal.

New Blues manager Antonio Conte is thought to be interested in signing a new centre-half this summer following his appointment as Jose Mourinho’s permanent successor earlier this year.

Chelsea are short on centre-halves with John Terry the wrong side of 35, Gary Cahill struggling for confidence and Kurt Zouma sidelined with a long-term knee injury.

Rudiger, who spent last season on loan at Serie A outfit Roma, was thought to be one of Conte’s top targets this summer after an impressive season in the Italian capital.

However, Italian journalist Emanuele Giulianelli has informed The Sport Review that Chelsea are very unlikely to sign Rudiger after the Germany defender suffered a knee ligaments injury ahead of Euro 2016.

Guilianelli said: “[Rudiger to Chelsea is now] very unlikely, after the bad injury.”

The 23-year-old defender scored two goals in 31 Serie A appearances for Roma in the 2015/16 season.

Chelsea have also been linked with a move for England and Everton centre-half John Stones in recent months despite the youngster’s disappointing form in the second half of the campaign.

The Blues are also thought to be interested in Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci after the Italy defender’s impressive performances in Conte’s Azzurri side at Euro 2016.

Follow Emanuele Giulianelli on Twitter for the latest transfer stories from across Europe.

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