German giants to rival Chelsea for possible Cole replacement

A large contingent of European clubs already have their eyes on Wolsburg’s Ricardo Rodriguez, and the inn is only getting more crowded.

The Swiss international has enjoyed a brilliant campaign at the Wolkswagen Arena, playing in every minute available under boss Dieter Hecking at left-back.

These days it’s near impossible for a club to shield young talents from the gaze of illustrious suitors, and so of course, links have spread like wildfire and Wolfsburg now face a fight to keep him in the coming summer.

One possible destination that was mooted as early as January is Chelsea, the Blues taking a hard look at the 21-year-old as a potential long-term successor to Ashley Cole.

Italian sources suggested that the Stamford Bridge outfit had engaged in preliminary talks for the youngster, with a price-tag of up to €25m reported to have been slapped on him.

And columns in the past weeks have only added Arsenal, Manchester United, Napoli and Juventus into the race.

But don’t look now, because here come the Bundesliga giants as well.

According to TuttoMercatoWeb, Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund each sent scouts to watch Rodriguez in action against Hoffenheim on Wednesday in a DFB Pokal - German Cup - contest.

The FC Zurich product reportedly earned rave reviews and it’s easy to see why - he slammed home two penalties and bombed up the left flank with regularity in a 3-2 victory.

There was a setback on the day, however, as Rodriguez was sent off for a second bookable offense on 71 minutes - though he’ll be forgiven as the two yellow cards were the only he’s been shown all season.

TMW maintain that his future will only be decided after the World Cup but if he continues at this rate, his stock will only continue to soar ahead of the 2014-15 campaign.

Bayern in particular represent a formidable opponent on the transfer market - even for a wealthy club such as Chelsea - so the battle for his signature is sure to be hot.

Such a talented full-back doesn’t come along every day so stay tuned - a potential saga that could play out through August may be on the cards, with a wealth of heavyweights involved.

image: © jiazi

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