Report: Chelsea players have known for months now that 26-year-old teammate is going to leave this summer

Chelsea players were reportedly aware of Andreas Christensen’s imminent move to Barcelona around two months ago.

According to The Athletic, Thomas Tuchel’s squad knew at the end of March that the defender would be departing in the summer.

Andreas Christensen couldn’t keep his move to Barcelona quiet

The penny apparently dropped when Barcelona president Joan Laporta announced his club had signed two players on a free transfer.

“We’ve completed two signings for the next season: one is a midfielder, the other one is a centre-back. But I’m not allowed to mention their names,” said Laporta.

Many believed the midfielder to be AC Milan’s Franck Kessie, whilst the centre-back had one major candidate.

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Christensen has been linked with Barca for some time, following the dispute over signing a new deal.

Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images

His contract expires in June, with the player and Chelsea unable to agree on an extension.

The Athletic claim that the two parties had come close to confirming a five-year contract worth £140,000k-a-week last August.

However, the Dane’s then-agent, his father, was not content with some of the terms, so the agreement fizzled out.

A few months passed by and Christensen requested a three-year deal instead, giving him more wiggle room if he decided to move in the time period.

Again, the conditions were not finalised, leading to more frustration between the camps.

Annoyance that bubbled over onto Thomas Tuchel, who dropped Christensen as an act of punishment.

Chelsea are preparing for life without Christensen

January swung around and another development appeared.

Kin agency replaced Christensen’s father as the player’s representative, meaning Chelsea felt like they were ‘starting from scratch’ with negotiations.

At this point, the 26-year-old was now able to discuss with foreign sides over a transfer away from Stamford Bridge.

Photo by Charlotte Wilson/Offside/Offside via Getty Images

Which brings us round to Laporta’s declaration, one that will surely be unveiled soon.

It is more a matter of when, not if, Barca announce the signing of Christensen, who may have already played his last game for the Blues.

He reportedly refused to take part in the FA Cup final last Saturday due to feeling ill during the week.

Or was it simply a way to declare his departure from Chelsea?

We are not here to speculate, so let’s send Andreas off in a decent and respectful manner.

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Nathaniel is a football journalist who graduated from the University of Derby. He has worked at Burton Albion as part of their media team for two years. Nathaniel produces regular articles for the club’s official website and match-day programme. He covered the 2018 U20 Women’s World Cup in Brittany and has reported from grounds ranging from non-league up to the Premier League.