Barcelona are considering a move for Cesar Azpilicueta as the Chelsea defender enters the final months of his contract at Stamford Bridge.
Azpilicueta is out of contract at the end of the season and there has so far been no agreement over an extension to his deal, the club captain free to negotiate a pre-contract agreement with foreign sides from January 1.
The 32-year-old has featured regularly for Chelsea since the arrival of Thomas Tuchel as head coach, but has lost his position in the side in recent weeks and has been an unused substitute in each of Chelsea’s past three league fixtures.
According to ESPN, Barcelona are now monitoring the situation of the Spain international as the La Liga side seek cost-efficient methods of strengthening amid their current financial predicament.
Barcelona secured the signings of Memphis Depay, Eric Garcia and Sergio Aguero on free transfer deals last summer and will once again target players through free agency ahead of next season.
Barcelona this week re-signed veteran full-back Dani Alves and Azpilicueta is viewed as another player who can provide leadership to an inexperienced backline, as the Catalans embark on a new era under the management of club icon, Xavi.
Chelsea remain in negotiations with Azpilicueta over a new deal, however, as the west Londoners look to extend the deal of a player who has made more than 400 appearances for the club since his arrival from Marseille in 2012.