Chelsea center-back Andreas Christensen has reportedly chosen FC Barcelona as his next destination. Christensen’s current deal with the Blues expires in the summer and he is yet to extend it. Moreover, the defender has decided against signing an extension with Chelsea and wants a new challenge. Barcelona were put on an alert after Christensen’s decision as the Catalans are actively looking to reinforce the defense in the summer.
Andreas Christensen has been with Chelsea since 15 after he joined them from Brondby in 2012. The Dane was first settled in the club’s youth set-up, playing for the Under-18s and Under-21s. He then spent couple of years on-loan with Borussia Monchengladbach before finally joining the Chelsea first-team in 2017. Christensen has since played an impressive 153 games for the Blues, winning 6 trophies with the club. However, the center-back wants to leave Stamford Bridge at the end of the season for an adventure abroad.
Barcelona in advanced talks with Christensen
Christensen has been a crucial part of Tuchel’s side since the manager took-over. The Dane has formed a solid back-three of Tuchel’s system with veteran Thiago Silva and Antonio Rudiger. Christensen played an important role in the club’s Champions League final last season, coming on for injured Thiago Silva in the first-half. The center-back helped the defense keep a clean-sheet against Manchester City to lift the Champions League trophy. Last summer Chelsea were optimistic they will tie the 25-year-old to a new deal. However, Christensen’s sudden demands which Chelsea didn’t anticipate halted the contract extension talks. The defender conveyed the club that he wanted to leave and that would respect them by not signing for a Premier League club.
Barcelona who massively reinforced their attack in the winter transfer window, now want to execute a same plan in the defense department. The Catalans’ defense has been a major disappointment this season and manager Xavi wants to add quality to it. Christensen tops the list of targets identified by Barcelona and the talks between them have headed in the right direction over the last few days. German giants Bayern Munich are also interested in Christensen, but the Dane reportedly wants Barcelona. Moreover, as Christensen was open to reach per-agreements with other clubs in January, he has given a verbal ‘OK’ to the Catalans for his move. Barcelona would save a fee of around €35-€40 million on Christensen since he becomes a free agent in the summer. .
Tuchel’s stance on Christensen
Chelsea boss Tuchel seems a bit disappointed since Christensen hasn’t signed an extension. Tuchel considers Christensen an important part of the team and reportedly wants him to stay. But as no talks progressed for the center-back’s extension, Tuchel has given his opinion. “It’s on Andreas to act how he acts on the pitch, off the pitch and walk the talk,” said Tuchel. “He tells us he loves Chelsea, that he wants to stay and be a big part, because he is a big part of a big club. I think he is the perfect fit, he is not done yet here, his career here is not finished,” added the manager.
Tuchel has made it pretty clear that he wants the defender to stay. Chelsea could lose more defenders since Christensen is not the only one whose contract expires in the summer. Club captain Cesar Azpilicueta and Antonio Rudiger could also exit the club for free given their deals are up in the summer. Both Azpilicueta and Rudiger are also yet to extend their contracts, with the former also linked to Barcelona along with Christensen.
However, Chelsea are already planning on buying their outgoing defenders’ replacements. Thomas Tuchel wants to restructure his team in the summer, and could start right-away from the back itself. The club want Sevilla’s Jules Kounde to strengthen their defense and even submitted a bid for him last summer. Brighton center-back Adam Webster is also on the Blues’ radar for a summer move. Summer is going to be an exciting one for Chelsea as a lot of activity is anticipated. Meanwhile, Andreas Christensen seems to have made it easier for Chelsea with his Barcelona decision. Now it remains to be seen what Rudiger and Azpilicueta choose.