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Gossip: Barcelona interested in Chelsea defender Andreas Christensen

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He could be needed if Samuel Umtiti undergoes surgery

Chelsea v Olympique Lyonnais - Pre-Season Friendly Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Samuel Umtiti’s current injury problems are prompting renewed speculation Barcelona could opt to bring in a defender in the January transfer window.

According to Sport, Barcelona have taken a shine to Chelsea’s 22-year-old defender Andreas Christensen, who has fallen out of favour at Stamford Bridge.

Barcelona are apparently looking at potential defensive options in case Umtiti needs to undergo surgery to fix his knee problems.

The France international has already missed a chunk of the season through injury, He made his return in the 1-1 draw against Atletico Madrid but then missed the PSV Eindhoven game after feeling some discomfort during training.

Reports in Spain have claimed Umtiti is keen to avoid surgery, but the club may be left with little choice if he continues to struggle.

Christensen enjoyed a fine season with Chelsea last year under Antonio Conte. However, he’s struggled to impress new boss Maurizio Sarri and has not featured in the Premier League Yet.

He has played in all Chelsea’s Europa League games and their two Carabao Cup matches. He’s spoken about his lack of playing time this season and told Sky Sports News that while he’s unhappy he does not expect to leave in January.

The report also suggests that Chelsea are not too keen on losing players midway through the season. However, if Umtiti is forced onto the sidelines for an extended period Barcelona may be forced into the market for cover.