Chelsea

Chelsea

Premier League • England

Ex-Barcelona chief reveals three-year pursuit of Chelsea star – ‘we met with his agents’

Andreas Christensen, Marcos Alonso and Kai Havertz

A former Barcelona official has revealed the Spanish club’s move for Andreas Christensen is three years in the making.

The Chelsea centre-back looks set to leave Stamford Bridge once his contract expires this summer. It will be a major loss for Thomas Tuchel, who will also lose Antonio Rudiger at the end of the season.

Christensen and Rudiger could play against each other in La Liga next term. Christensen is rumoured to have agreed personal terms with Barcelona.

In March, Blaugrana president Joan Laporta revealed two players were scheduled to arrive at the Nou Camp in the summer. And one of them is thought to be Christensen.

“We have closed two signings,” Laporta said. “It may well be a central midfielder and a central defender, yes.”

The other star is reportedly Franck Kessie. Like Christensen, he can move as a free agent from June 30 onwards.

Rudiger, meanwhile, has come to a verbal agreement with Real Madrid to join ahead of the 2022-23 campaign.

That means the Chelsea centre-back partners may come up against each other in next season’s El Clasico.

Andreas Christensen held talks with Barca in 2019

Ramon Planes, who spent time at Barca as their transfer chief and technical secretary, has now spoken about Christensen.

In a recent interview on Spanish radio, he said (via the Daily Express): “Christensen is a good centre-back.

“In fact, I know that three years ago, we met with his agents when he didn’t play much at Chelsea.

“We met with his father, with the player and with the CEO of Chelsea.”

As Planes alludes to, Christensen has not always been this integral for the Blues. He has enjoyed plenty of game time under Tuchel since the manager’s appointment in January 2021.

This is due to Tuchel generally operating with a back three, which Christensen excels in.

But Chelsea’s defence will look far different next term with the Dane and Rudiger leaving.

Jules Kounde, Pau Torres and Wesley Fofana are all potential replacements. However, they will not be cheap given their impressive displays in recent seasons.

In addition, Chelsea will have to wait until their ownership problems are sorted before they can properly pursue any targets.

READ MORE: Thomas Tuchel says he has to keep pushing Chelsea star who has ‘monster’ potential