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Chelsea loanee Andreas Christensen has emerged as a surprise candidate to boost the Barcelona back-line ahead of the summer transfer window, according to Mundo Deportivo. The Spanish publication says Barca's scouts have "fallen in love" with the 19-year-old centre-back after watching him in action during an impressive campaign at Borussia Monchengladbach.
The La Liga giants have been linked with megabucks moves for the likes of Marquinhos, Aymeric Laporte and John Stones in recent months, as Luis Enrique is desperate to add a new centre-back to his defensive options. The Chelsea loanee, however, has emerged as a shock target.
Mundo Deportivo claims Barcelona technical director Robert Fernandez and his scouts have watched Christensen in action in their several trips to the Bundesliga as they watched the likes of Leroy Sane, Ilkay Gündogan, Marco Reus, David Alaba and Pierre-Emerick Aubemeyang. Barcelona's backroom staff made one of those trips to scout the much-coveted Granit Xhaka, but instead Christensen caught their eye.
The Denmark defender moved to Stamford Bridge as a 16-year-old after garnering a big reputation at Brondby. Mundo Deportivo points out that Barcelona already had him on their radar at the time, but the Blues were able to secure the player.
The Dane has continued his progress through Chelsea's youth ranks in recent years, winning the Uefa Youth League in April 2015 and making three first-team appearances under former boss Jose Mourinho.
Mourinho sent the defender to Germany on a two-year loan deal last summer to give him more playing time. Christensen has subsequently become a regular starter for the Bundesliga outfit, impressing both in the league and during the Champions League.
The teenager is now a member of the Denmark national squad, while Monchengladbach sporting director Max Eberl revealed last month he was interested in securing the player on a permanent basis, as they had previously done with Thorgan Hazard.
"Our intention is to try and get into talks with Chelsea in the summer. Andreas fulfils everything we've seen in him. And we are delighted that we were able to take him on loan without any ifs and buts," Eberl told Kicker, as quoted by ESPN.
The Daily Mail, however, reported at the time that Chelsea had no plans of letting the player go, as he had only recently secured a five-year deal. Mundo Deportivo now claims this could be the main issue for Barcelona, as Chelsea are unlikely to be eager to let the talented defender go.