Andreas Christensen set to sign for Barcelona despite late Chelsea efforts

Andreas Christensen could well depart Chelsea in the summer
Andreas Christensen could well depart Chelsea in the summer / Marc Atkins/GettyImages

Andreas Christensen is on the verge of signing a pre-contract agreement with Barcelona, 90min understands, despite Chelsea launching a final bid to keep him at Stamford Bridge.

The academy graduate is into the final four months of his current deal and there has been growing fear that he could walk away on a free transfer in the summer amid interest from some of Europe's elite.

Christensen had been weighing up Chelsea's most recent offer against proposals from elsewhere, with Barça's the most lucrative of those ahead of Bayern Munich's.

However, 90min understands the central defender is now very close to signing a pre-contract with Barcelona after the Catalan giants improved their terms. That move had forced Chelsea to make a last-ditch attempt to keep hold of the 25-year-old, but it seems it may well be a case of too little, too late.

The Denmark international has gradually had his head turned by the prospect of a move to Camp Nou since the turn of the year and that has become his preferred destination. Consequently, the Blues faced an uphill battle to provide a significant enough incentive for him to remain with the club.

Although he is still not a guaranteed starter, Christensen has risen to prominence since Thomas Tuchel's arrival in early 2021, performing consistently and playing a key role in last season's Champions League success

The defender was close to agreeing a contract extension last summer, but his demands increased following a change of agent and he was subsequently sanctioned by the club.

Speaking about his unresolved future last week, Christensen described the situation as "difficult" and didn't offer any assurances.

 “Things can still be done," he said. "Being part of a winning team is all that I want to be as a football player.

“It’s hard because all the talks between the club and my guys, I try to keep it away because I want to focus and it’s not changed for me.

“I go on the pitch every day not really thinking about it. I leave that to the club and my guys, and I can focus on playing football. I just focus on winning, really. It’s a difficult situation.”

Chelsea also face the prospect of losing Christensen's fellow defenders Antonio Rudiger and Cesar Azpilicueta in the summer, with both players out of contract and attracting firm interest from elsewhere.

There will be some serious high-level upheaval too, with the news that owner Roman Abramovich is selling the club following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, amid the threat of sanctions from the UK government.

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