Barcelona reportedly have their eyes on three Chelsea players for the January transfer window as new manager Xavi looks to improve his attacking ranks.
The 41-year-old is now in charge of the Nou Camp giants follow the sacking of Ronald Koeman. He has inherited a side in the unusual position of being down among the also-rans. The Catalans traditionally battle with Real Madrid and occasionally Atletico Madrid for the LaLiga title.
But they currently sit ninth in the Spanish top-flight table – 11 points adrift of table-topping Real Sociedad. Lionel Messi’s exit has left Barca with a huge void to fill but financial constraints remain an issue.
However, Sport (via Sport Witness) are suggesting Barcelona are ‘very clear’ they will look to sign players in January. And the Spanish newspaper feels they may ‘fish’ at Chelsea.
The Blues players on the Blaugrana’s radar are Christian Pulisic, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Hakim Ziyech. The west London outfit have a squad ‘full of stars,’ and there is a ‘clear overbooking’ in the attacking positions, adds the report.
The trio are all on the peripheries of Thomas Tuchel’s first team and not regular starters. Hudson-Odoi has started five Premier League games.
He, along with Ziyech, has seen action in Europe while Pulisic has been sidelined with an ankle problem. The American is now fit but will struggle to find a spot in the German’s starting XI.
Barcelona target Chelsea loan deal
Barca’s money worries are well known and, with that in mind, they are looking at winter loan deals. The Spaniards’ ‘clear target’ is Raheem Sterling, but Manchester City will not sanction a loan deal.
The Premier League champions are pushing for an ‘impossible transfer’, meaning Barca must look at alternatives. It is said that some of the players ‘have already asked’ to leave the club in the new year to gain more game time.
Sport say that Barcelona have been ‘fully briefed’ on the situation, with the emphasis on Pulisic. The USA international has played just 87 minutes of league football this term.
Whether they are allowed to take any of the players remains to be seen. But all three are considered to have a ‘strong attacking profile’ and ‘good individual technique’.
Xavi knows he must find someone to cover the absence of Sergio Aguero. However, Barcelona will look to sign the player who comes at the ‘lowest possible cost’.