Bengaluru, December 16: La Liga champions Barcelona have stepped up their pursuit for Chelsea defender Andreas Christensen, according to reports in Spain.
The Danish defender ihas gone well down the pecking order at Stamford Bridge, playing just one Premier League game all season. It’s a far cry from last season when the defender made 40 appearances under Antonio Conte.
The Dane has made it very clear he wants first-team football and the 22-year-old will explore his options in January.
The Catalan giants are looking for defensive cover for Samuel Umtiti who is still struggling with a knee injury.
Back-up defender Thomas Vermaelen failed to impress in the midweek 1-1 Champions League draw with Tottenham and he has his fair shares of injury problems as well.
The Spanish media claim that Christensen is aware Barcelona have made contact with the Premier League side and is eager to hear what they have to say.
The Blues could be in a battle to hold on to their top young talent if they believe their pathway to the first-team looks blocked.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek is getting itchy feet and wants to be a regular starter with West Ham and Bournemouth set to test Chelsea’s resolve with January bids.
Teenage winger Callum Hudson-Odoi wants assurances of first-team action before agreeing a new deal at Stamford Bridge with Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich monitoring his situation.
Meanwhile, Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde does not appear desperate for a new signing provided Umtiti's recovery proceeds as planned.
"We want four centre-backs who can play," he told a news conference ahead of Sunday's trip to Levante.
"Umtiti could recover and that would be great news for us and would mean that we would have four centre-backs for the rest of the season, although three are left-footed.
"We will know more about what happens with him in a little while, but we are Barcelona and want to have a team who can respond. As I said, we'll see what happens but I'm happy to manage with what I have."