Report: Chelsea defender set to sign for Barcelona, was ‘attracted by Xavi’s project’

Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge stadium by Ank kumar, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Andreas Christensen looks to be on his way out of Chelsea as his contract is up this summer and he’s unwilling to sign a new deal. The 25-year-old hasn’t managed to hold down a regular starting place under Thomas Tuchel this season and has interest from Barcelona, which Sport say he’s desperate to pursue as he was ‘attracted by Xavi’s project’.

Christensen joined the Blues from Brondby in 2012 and has gone on to make 153 appearances in all competitions, scoring two goals with two assists. The Danish international hasn’t started more than 23 Premier League games in a season at Chelsea and has featured in only half the available league outings in the last two campaigns, so it seems he’s surplus to requirements.

Tuchel will still have Antonio Rudiger, Trevoh Chalobah, Malang Sarr and Thiago Silva to call upon if Christensen leaves, so the Blues won’t be short of centre-backs. It’s likely they’ll sign a replacement.

Barcelona have depth at the back, with Ronald Araújo, Eric Garcia, Clément Lenglet, Samuel Umtiti, Óscar Mingueza and Gerard Piqué, but Umtiti has been on the periphery all season, Mingueza isn’t a regular and Lenglet has also struggled for playing time, so there may be room for another new face.

The Catalans aren’t blessed with lucrative transfer funds due to their debt, however, so it helps that Christensen will be a free transfer in the coming months – Barca may not have opted to sign the 25-year-old if his contract wasn’t expiring this summer.

Summary

It’s certainly a blow for Chelsea to lose Christensen for nothing and the West London outfit did try to tie him down to a new deal beyond the summer, but Tuchel hasn’t really needed him at centre-back so Christensen doesn’t plan on staying.

Sport say the 25-year-old defied his father and agent to sign for Barcelona on less money too, so clearly it meant more to be at the Nou Camp than Stamford Bridge.