Chelsea considering move for Barcelona 17-year-old defender

Catalan newspaper Sport always have their ear close to the ground when it comes to information about potential transfer business at Barcelona, and the latest reports are about youngster Alejandro Balde.

The left-back is prodigiously strong, fast and tall for his age, with the kind of technique fans would expect for a La Masia product.

Still just 17, he is heading towards the end of his time in the youth academy and is willing to battle for a senior team spot soon, with the Spanish star Junior Firpo struggling to settle as first-choice Jordi Alba’s backup.

His current deal expires at the end of next campaign, so Frank Lampard’s Chelsea are just a year away from being able to negotiate a free transfer with the player.

If he is given a chance in the first time at the Spanish giants before then it could prove difficult to prise the talented defender away.

But if he is still waiting for a chance, the Blues’ habit of picking up brilliantly gifted European youngsters might just prove useful.

Meantime, Chelsea are allegedly willing to listen to proposals for Antonio Rudiger, Jorginho and Marcos Alonso during the January transfer market in order to raise funds to land Declan Rice.

West Ham are said to be holding out for a bid of £80 million for the midfielder – a fee which the Blues could not afford during what was already a big-spending summer.

Football Insider claims that Frank Lampard is planning to rekindle his interest in Rice when the transfer market reopens, but that the club must first sanction at least two big-money sales in order to fund the move.

Chelsea are therefore willing to listen to bids for the aforementioned trio, all of whom were linked with a summer transfer away but ultimately stayed at Stamford Bridge.