Premier League • England

Barcelona supremo puts three Chelsea stars on shortlist in further rebuild

Chelsea pair Reece James and Cesar Azpilicueta

Barcelona president Joan Laporta has reportedly included Chelsea defenders Antonio Rudiger, Cesar Azpilicueta and Andreas Christensen on his shortlist of targets for next summer.

The Catalan giants have endured a hugely disappointing start to the new LaLiga season, only winning three of their seven games so far. Ronald Koeman’s men currently sit in ninth spot and are five points behind bitter rivals Real Madrid at the top of the table.

Barca were unable to seal any major transfers over the summer due to the troubled financial situation. Indeed, they mainly swopped for free transfer deals in the form of Memphis Depay, Sergio Aguero and Eric Garcia.

Emerson Royal was the only player to be purchased for a fee. However, the 22-year-old was quickly sold on to Tottenham after just three appearances for the club.

Barcelona are expected to take a similar route to their transfer business next summer, which brings in the Chelsea trio.

Rudiger, Azpilicueta and Christensen are three of the players on Barca’s radar, according to Mundo Deportivo.

The former is yet to pen a new deal at Stamford Bridge despite becoming a key member of Thomas Tuchel’s Champions League winners.

Talks have reportedly been ongoing, although Rudiger, who has also been linked with Real Madrid, is no closer to agreeing terms.

Chelsea considering shock return for Eden Hazard

Chelsea considering shock return for Eden Hazard

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is reportedly considering a shock Stamford Bridge return for Eden Hazard, with more news on Antonio Rudiger and Edinson Cavani.

Tuchel recently admitted that he was not too concerned over the player’s immediate future, declaring that he expects the 28-year-old Germany star to eventually sign on the dotted line.

“It’s between the club and the player’s agent,” said the Chelsea boss last month.

“He plays excellent for a long time, very consistent and at a very high level. I feel him very calm, very focused and it’s obviously not a distraction for him.”

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Chelsea skipper close to future decision

Meanwhile, Azpilicueta has previously stated that he will decide his future over the coming months.

“I don’t have any concerns, I feel fully trusted by the club in this moment,” said the Spaniard.

“It is true that my contract ends in June. But I am just focused on what is next, to train and play the best I can. Everything will take care of itself.”

Christensen, meanwhile, has been in and out of the Chelsea side but Tuchel still rates him highly. Indeed, discussions are going well and he is expected to sign a lucrative new deal soon.

READ MORE: Chelsea primed to offer ‘hefty’ package as new deal become urgent priority