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Blues defender believed to have agreed summer switch to Barcelona – South London News

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BY PAUL LAGAN

Andrea Christensen is believed to have signed a deal to join Barcelona in the summer.

The Denmark centre-back, 25, is out of contract at SW6 and will exit in July.

Barcelona president Joan Laporta revealed that the Spanish outfit has signed a centre-back and a midfielder, believed to be Ivory Coast’s Franck Kessie.

Laporta would not however confirm the identity of either of their additions.

The current Chelsea board are impotent in making deals due to Government sanctions but are hoping that skipper Cesar Azpilicueta does not force a move away from Chelsea.

Barcelona are again keen to sign the 32-year-old but Chelsea can use a pre-existing contract extension clause to keep him at Stamford Bridge for another year.

The right-back is keen to move to Spain, but does not want to tarnish his impeccable reputation and legacy among the Chelsea faithful by appearing to flee a troubled ship.

Chelsea face Brentford at the Bridge tomorrow with strikers Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner unhappy with their current lot.

Both could leave in the summer should sizable offers land on whoever is sitting behind the big desk then.

Chelsea hit top spot in the Women’s Super League on Sunday, beating Leicester City 9-0 at the King Power Stadium.

They are a point ahead of Arsenal with both sides having five league games remaining.

Boss Emma Hayes said: “We were clinical, especially in the first half. The execution of the game plan was first class.

“Everyone had a good game, including those who came off the bench.

“We were all outstanding in training this week. We were at a level we haven’t been at this season. The fact we were without Fran Kirby and Pernille Harder and still perform is a testament to the group.”

Hayes’s side face Reading on Sunday in a 6.45pm kick-off and will still be without Kirby and Harder – both out with unspecified injuries.

Lauren James will get more minutes on the pitch having scored with an impressive strike at Leicester.

Hayes said of the forward: “I’ve made no secret of the time it’s taken to get to that place. There is a reason for it. It was perfect timing for her to get her first goal, it was a superb cameo for her.

“She is 100 per cent fit but she doesn’t have the match minutes, and she doesn’t have a pre-season behind her, so she is always going to be behind players.”

Reading surprisingly beat the Blues 1-0 in December but the west London outfit are a different prospect now.

Hayes said. “December was our dip. We had a lot of players away at the Olympics. We played a cup final two days straight after the international break, it was a really tough run for us. I think it was also the third game in six days, that was the difference.”

So what will she be expecting from them this time at Kingsmeadow?

As pragmatic as ever, she said: “They always give us a much tougher test than they give Arsenal, let’s put it that way. So do I expect them to put 11 bodies behind the ball in their box? Yes, 100 per cent.

“Reading alway shows up for our game.”

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