Chelsea 'reluctant' to let Timo Werner & Hakim Ziyech depart in January

Matt O'Connor-Simpson
The pair are set to stay at Stamford Bridge
The pair are set to stay at Stamford Bridge / Marc Atkins/GettyImages

Chelsea are unlikely to loan or sell Timo Werner or Hakim Ziyech in January despite interest from Barcelona, with Thomas Tuchel eager to avoid weakening his squad mid-season.

Although Ziyech had been a marginal figure since Tuchel arrived at Stamford Bridge in January, he has enjoyed an extended run in the team of late as a result of injuries and has found some form - scoring two goals and providing three assists since the start of November.

90min revealed last month that the Moroccan was angling for an exit from Stamford Bridge, but his increased game time and improved performances on the pitch will likely see him stay put.

Meanwhile, Werner's first-team chances have decreased somewhat since the arrival of Romelu Lukaku but he has still featured fairly regularly under his compatriot barring the month he spent sidelined with a hamstring problem.

Both Blues forwards have been linked with Barcelona recently, as Xavi looks to bolster his frontline in January. However, according to Sport, the chances of Chelsea letting either player depart are remote as Tuchel is 'reluctant' to let first-team players leave.

Barcelona initially held promising talks with club director Marina Granovskaia, but since then Tuchel has intervened and expressed his desire for the club to not make any sales in the forthcoming transfer window.

Barça do not have much room to manoeuvre in January, with the club's financial problems well-documented. Due to this, any arrivals are likely to be loans, although the club have also been linked with a move for Manchester City's Ferran Torres.

Prior to picking up a foot injury on international duty, Torres had been impressing in a false nine role. Xavi is thought to be a big fan of the player, but the difference in the two clubs' valuations is sizeable.

Barcelona are apparently not able to go higher than €40m, and City want significantly more for a player they signed for just over half of that back in 2020.

The Blaugrana are also considering a low-cost move for Manchester United's veteran striker Edinson Cavani. Cavani's minutes have been restricted due to injury and the signing of Cristiano Ronaldo this season, though the Uruguayan is believed to be happy at Old Trafford for now.

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