Chelsea faces an anxious race against time if they’re to avoid losing several key players for free at the end of the season.
Several of the Blues’ first-choice defenders will be out of contract this summer, including centre-backs Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen and veteran Cesar Azpilicueta.
Despite the trio being wanted by Barcelona, as well as Atletico Madrid in Azpilicueta’s case, it is Christensen, 25, who is understood to be attracting the most interest from Xavi’s side.
That’s according to a recent report from Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo, who claims Barcelona have ‘accelerated’ their efforts to sign the soon-to-be free Denmark international.
It is understood that following a recent change in representation, the 26 times La Liga winners have now begun discussing a potential summer move with the defender’s agents.
Learning that Christensen’s entourage is negotiating a potential summer move will come as troubling news to Thomas Tuchel, especially considering how reliant the German manager has been on the 25-year-old since the start of the season.
Despite joining the Londoners all the way back in 2017, it has been under Tuchel that Christensen has put in his best performances in a blue shirt.
Having featured in 13 Premier League matches already this season, there is no denying the Dane’s importance to his team’s system which often sees his manager name a backline containing three central defenders.
Should Barcelona come out on top, it is believed they will offer Christensen a four-year contract, however, the Catalan giants may still end up coming up short after Tuchel recently made it clear he would like the 25-year-old to extend his deal.
“We have the hope that it influences the contract situation a little bit,” Tuchel told reporters at the end of last year (as quoted by the Guardian).” My understanding was that it’s a matter of a very short period before we have good news.
“As I understood it the club wants the same, the player wants the same, the coach wants the same: to stay. That’s why we need the commitment and then we can continue.”