According to Catalan newspaper Sport (via Sport Witness), Andreas Christensen was keen on joining Barcelona in January — who wouldn’t be, in fairness? — however Chelsea blocked that possibility not once, but twice, eventually forcing the Blaugrana to go for Valencia reject Jeison Murillo instead (despite Christensen’s agent urging them to wait a little bit to see if he could rattle Chelsea’s cages a bit more).
It’s a decent explanation (or excuse) from a local source as to why Barça would’ve gone for a defender — on loan with an option to buy — who couldn’t get minutes in the same league at a worse team (and was also not good enough for Inter Milan). Granted, Murillo’s role is only as emergency backup should Samuel Umtiti miss (most of) the rest of the season and Barca are likely to dip back in for a permanent signing in the summer, be that Christensen or Ajax’s Matthijs de Ligt, who seems to be their primary target.
Neither Christensen nor his father-agent are likely to be too happy with this sequence of events. The 22-year-old may be injured at the moment, but he continues to desire more (and more important) minutes than the barely once-a-midweek secondary competition appearances he’s been getting this season (10 total appearances, 1 in the league, after 40 total last season).
Chelsea do have Christensen under contract through 2022, and thus would retain some leverage in any negotiations. Sport imagines the Blues would charge upwards of €40m, which is okay but not spectacular in today’s market.