Chelsea could once again face competition from Barcelona for one of their main targets and La Liga leaders are reportedly weighing a move for Josko Gvardiol as Gerard Pique’s replacement. It has been widely reported that the RB Leipzig defender is someone the Blues are looking for as Graham Potter looks to add to his defense, but now he could face competition for his signature.
Chelsea and Barcelona went head-to-head on multiple occasions during the summer transfer window as both looked to add to their teams. The Stamford Bridge side were said to have struck deals with Leeds for Raphinha and Sevilla for Jules Kounde before the blaugrana hijacked the moves. The pair followed former Blues defender Andreas Christensen to the Camp Nou after he refused to sign a new contract in west London.
The two teams were involved in the same deals later in the transfer window with Marcos Alonso and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang moving in opposite directions on deadline day. Chelsea were also believed to have monitored Dutch midfielder Frenkie de Jong, but it did not solidify their initial interest.
Now the clubs’ paths could cross again in the upcoming January transfer window as both have their sights set on the same goal. Spanish publication Sport has reported that Barcelona are interested in signing Gvardiol as they look to replace recently retired club legend Piqué.
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It has been widely reported that the Croat is a prime target for Chelsea as Potter looks to add to his defensive options. The Blues’ back line has struggled so far this season, conceding 17 goals in 14 games as they languish eighth in the division.
The club shelled out around £165m to add to their defense over the summer with Kalidou Koulibaly, Marc Cucurella and Wesley Fofana all arriving at Stamford Bridge. However, no player has impressed yet during his time at the club with former Napoli and Brighton men falling short of the standards expected of them, while the Frenchman has suffered injury problems.
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Barcelona also added to their back line over the summer with the arrivals of Kounde, Christensen and Alonso, plus former Arsenal right-back Hector Bellerin. However, Piqué’s withdrawal could force them to return to the market. The centre-back ended a lengthy 18-year career as a professional earlier this month, 14 of which were spent at the Blaugrana.
The 35-year-old leaves as a club legend, winning the Champions League three times and La Liga eight times in the process of making 616 appearances.
Whether or not Barcelona will cement their interest in Gvardiol remains to be seen, but Chelsea fans will already be worried about the events of the summer.
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