Former Sunderland striker, Kevin Phillips believes that Chelsea blocked Antonio Rudiger’s move to Tottenham Hotspur because they did not want to strengthen a direct rival.

Multiple reports indicated that Inter Milan centre-back, Milan Skriniar was Jose Mourinho’s number one target during the transfer window.

However, the Lilywhites are said to have made a late attempt to sign Rudiger from Chelsea after the deal for the Slovakian international fell through.

Despite this last-ditch effort, the deal for Rudiger did not materialise and the 27-year-old ended up staying put at Stamford Bridge.

German national team manager, Joachim Low has since admitted that the centre-back was desperate to leave Chelsea and did everything in his power to do so (

He also claimed that the former Roma man will once again try to leave in January as he wants to be playing regularly ahead of the Euros next summer.

Phillips believes the Blues feared that Tottenham could pose a threat to them if they had allowed Rudiger to join the Lilywhites.

He told Football Insider: “It was possibly Chelsea not wanting to sell to a direct rival in Spurs. That stinks a little bit to me.

“I think Chelsea have looked at it and thought, ‘If we give them another centre-half, blimey. They could be a major threat to us.’ It probably does stink a little bit of that.”

Spurs Web Opinion

I do not think it was Chelsea’s hesitation to sell to a “direct rival” that stopped the Rudiger deal but rather their hesitation in doing business with Spurs. The two clubs do not have the best of relationships and there have hardly been any transfers that have gone through between the teams over the years. I am not too disappointed that we could not bring Rudiger in as I am not convinced he is better than any of the central defenders we have at the club.

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