New Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez is reportedly set to test Chelsea’s resolve in January, as the Spaniard is targeted three Blues stars to spearhead his Catalan revolution.
The former midfielder was appointed as head coach just over a week ago, but already big transfer plans are being drawn up, as the club looks to improve following a poor start to the season under Ronald Koeman.
Barca have been linked with numerous high profile attackers in recent weeks, including Manchester City duo Raheem Sterling and Ferran Torres.
However, a new report by Calatan Daily Sport (via AS) links Xavi with three current Chelsea players – namely Hakim Ziyech, Christian Pulisic and Callum Hudson-Odoi.
All have found themselves out of favour at various different stages of Thomas Tuchel’s managerial reign, with only Hudson-Odoi very recently becoming a first-team regular.
Instead, the likes of Kai Havertz, Mason Mount and even Ross Barkley are generally preferred to Pulisic and Ziyech in the attacking positions.
Barcelona seemingly sense an opportunity to land one of the three outcasts, with a January move likely, as per the report..
Earlier this week, various outlets linked Ziyech with a loan move to Borussia Dortmund, as the Morrocan targets regular first-team football ahead of his nation’s involvement in next year’s Qatar World Cup.
However, Barcelona’s interest could well complicate matters, as Xavi is evidently in the market for a creative spark in the final third of the pitch.
While Pulisic is still highly-regarded at Chelsea, a series of frustrating injuries have seen the American get just five minutes of Premier League action since his goalscoring cameo on the opening matchday of the season.
Hudson-Odoi, meanwhile, looks to be the most unlikely to leave of the trio, after the 21-year-old scored against Norwich and assisted against Malmo last month – in the absence of Timo Werner and Romelu Lukaku.
Given the La Liga giants’ financial constraints, Xavi is thought to be keen to explore loan moves as well as permanent transfers, with his squad ravaged by an injury crisis.
The 41-year-old has already made his first Barca signing, bringing back former team-mate Dani Alves on a free transfer.