El Centrocampista

Chelsea set to battle Barcelona for Serie A star?

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Chelsea could be set for a transfer battle with Spanish giants Barcelona after TalkSPORT linked both clubs with high-rated Udinese defender Mehdi Benatia.

Roberto Di Matteo’s side have shipped four goals in their last three Champions League games and reports understand Chelsea have highlighted the Moroccan international as a possible fix for the club’s leaky defence, which has also conceded five times at Stamford Bridge this season.

Chelsea lost 2-1 at Shakhtar Donetsk on Tuesday night, leaving the tournament holders three points behind the Ukrainian Premier League champions, and were also held to a 2-2 home draw by Juventus in their opening group game of the Champions League.

Barcelona, meanwhile, have huge injury concerns, with both Gerard Pique and Carles Puyol absent, and Tito Vilanova’s men  let in four goals against Deportivo La Coruna at the weekend. They also needed an injury time strike from Jordi Alba to defeat Celtic 2-1 at the Camp Nou this week, after the Scottish side had taken the lead midway through the first half.

Reports suggest Benatia is valued at £12 million and is contracted to Udinese until June 2017.


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