Barcelona are ready to battle with Chelsea for the signing of Juventus right-back Stephan Lichtsteiner ahead of the January transfer window, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport. The Catalans had been heavily linked with Arsenal star Hector Bellerin in recent months but the Italian publication claims that they are now considering the Swiss defender as a low cost alternative.
The La Liga champions are looking to bolster the position since the departure of Dani Alves to Juventus during the last summer transfer window. Sergi Roberto has established himself as Luis Enrique's first choice in the start of the new season but they still need another cover after Aleix Vidal had fallen out of favour for the manager, having failed to play a game since the 2-1 defeat against Alaves earlier on September.
Bellerin was said to be the Barcelona priority but, with the Spaniard expected to sign a new deal at Arsenal instead, the Catalans had been linked with a host of right-backs in recent weeks, including Valencia's Joao Cancelo, Southampton's Cedric Soares, Liverpool's Nathaniel Clyne and even Stoke City's Glen Johnson.
La Gazzetta dello Sport now claims that Lichtsteiner is a likely option for the La Liga giants ahead of the January transfer window as he could be available on the cheap. Yet, the 32-year-old defender is out of contract at the end of the campaign, meaning that the coming market will be the Serie A giants last chance to get a profit for his services.
Furthermore, Lichtsteiner could also consider a move away from Juventus after the arrival of Alves has restricted his playing time, having started only five games in the new campaign.
But La Gazzetta dello Sport suggests that Barcelona could face competition from both Inter Milan and especially Chelsea for his signature. Lichtsteiner was a key player for Antonio Conte during his tenure at the Serie A giants and the Italian publication claims the current Chelsea boss is closely monitoring the situation ahead of reuniting with him at Stamford Bridge.
Victor Moses is excelling in the wing-back role since the switch to the 3-4-3 but the Swiss international could add much needed experience to Chelsea's defence, amid the uncertain future of Branislav Ivanovic at West London.
Juventus would like to keep Lichtsteiner but La Gazzetta dello Sport suggest that they are already keeping a close eye on AC Milan full-back Mattia De Sciglio as a potential replacement.