Premier League • England

Chelsea star to ‘welcome’ winter exit in first piece of triple transfer plan

Christian Pulisic, N'Golo Kante and Cesar Azpilicueta celebrating for Chelsea, April 2021

Christian Pulisic “would welcome” a departure from Chelsea after a report revealed how Barcelona plan to make him the first of three signings.

Pulisic joined Chelsea with high hopes in 2019. He enjoyed a productive debut season, scoring 11 goals across all competitions. An injury disrupted him, though, and he has been battling for his place over the past couple of years.

Last season, he scored just six goals from 43 appearances. Despite being reunited with his former Borussia Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel, his fortunes have not been improving.

Competition for places in Chelsea’s attacking line is intense. They have the likes of Kai Havertz, Hakim Ziyech, Mason Mount and Callum Hudson-Odoi all capable of performing in behind the strikers.

With that in mind, Pulisic “would welcome” a move away from Stamford Bridge – according to Mundo Deportivo. The destination could already be in view, since Barcelona see him as an “interesting” candidate for a January transfer.

Barca want to reinforce their squad in the winter window. However, their financial situation is making it difficult.

The La Liga giants may have to rely on the loan market for their mid-season transfer business. There is a feeling that Pulisic could be available on such terms.

Still under contract with Chelsea until 2024, the USA international may fit in with Barca’s strategy. Should they manage to take him on loan, it would be the first step of a triple transfer approach.

Pulisic to precede two more transfers

Mundo Deportivo remind that Barca are interested in Chelsea teammates Cesar Azpilicueta and Antonio Rudiger. Both are out of contract at the end of the season and could sign pre-contract agreements from January.

Rudiger set for a big payday as free agent

Rudiger set for a big payday as free agent

The Chelsea man is out of contract at the end of this season, as is captain Azpilicueta.

Azpilicueta in particular has been closely linked with Barcelona. The Spaniard has not played in La Liga since 2010 but could make a return to the division.

Reports have indicated some Chelsea players are perplexed as to why their captain’s future has not been tied down yet. It could soon become apparent whether this will be his last season in the blue shirt or if he will sign a new deal after all.

Rudiger, meanwhile, is one of the most in-demand centre-backs across Europe. He will have his pick of the continent’s elite if anyone is willing to match his wage demands.

Barca may struggle to do so. But they will continue to be linked with him anyway until his future plans are determined.

For the time being, Pulisic’s winter switch seems to be what Barcelona are focusing on.

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