Talks are at an advanced stage to sign Chelsea defenders Azpilicueta and Christensen
After an intense January, Barcelona are already working on the summer window. The No.1 objective is to sign a striker. Erling Haaland is president Joan Laporta's dream. The signing of the Borussia Dortmund man has been blessed across the club, although everyone knows how difficult it will be due to the competition.
If the Norway forward chooses Barça, his arrival would come with a fee of 75 million euros plus commission for his agent, Mino Raiola, and his father. If he doesn't, Barça will look elsewhere, knowing that goalscorers are at a premium and, therefore, are expensive.
Fishing in Chelsea
Striker is not the only position Barça want to strengthen. They also want to make big changes in defence. Knowing the costs of signing an attacker, they are looking for defenders that will be out of contract in the summer and can come for free. And they have found two in the same team: Chelsea.
Cesar Azpilicueta and Andreas Christensen are two options. The former will almost definitely move to Camp Nou. At 32, he is in his 10th season at Chelsea and feels the moment has arrived to return to LaLiga.
Barça have made a good offer of two years plus an option for one more. The proposal is better than Atletico Madrid's, who are also keen on the Spain international. The deal now hangs on a meeting between the player and Chelsea's general director Marina Granovskaia.
The London club have an option to extend Azplicueta's contract. There is speculation they can renew his terms unilaterally, but that is not quite true. If they better Barça's offer, they could renew his deal, but the player's camp doesn't believe that will happen. They believe he will be wearing Barça's shirt next season, adding versatility to the backline.
Danish international Christensen is the second Chelsea player out of contract in the summer, although negotiations with Barça are not as advanced as they are with Azplicueta.
Christensen, 25, told Chelsea a few months ago of his intention to leave for free in the summer. He has various offers. Bayern Munich and several English sides can be added to Barça. His agent was in Barcelona to speak with the Catalan club and it seems the player is keen on the offer. He likes how Xavi's project has begun. Xavi, meanwhile, feels Christensen would adapt to his style well.
Therefore, Barça look likely to strengthen their backline at no cost this summer, although they also need to bring in a new left-back for competition for Jordi Alba, which could suppose a small cost. Jose Luis Gaya is the top option, pending his renewal with Valencia, and Alejandro Grimaldo, of Benfica, is another option.