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Chelsea unwilling to let go of attacking duo amidst Barcelona interest



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Barcelona’s search for reinforcements in the attacking unit ahead of the January transfer window has led them to Chelsea with both Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner being touted as targets.

Both the players joined the reigning European champions in the summer of 2020 and have struggled to establish themselves as first-choice in their respective positions.

Werner played regularly last term, but his profligacy in front of the goal forced the Blues to sign Romelu Lukaku earlier this year. Meanwhile, Ziyech has looked the shadow of his best self from the Ajax days, although injuries have not been kind on the Moroccan playmaker.

Nonetheless, given their quality, Barcelona have shown an interest in taking either of them on loan in the January window. The Catalans are in need of strengthening their attacking unit, as Xavi Hernandez looks to get their season back on track after a difficult start under former boss Ronald Koeman.

Ziyech had emerged as a target first, with Xavi looking for a right-sided winger, Werner has also entered the transfer wishlist due to his ability to play anywhere across the frontline. To that end, Barcelona had even opened a dialogue with Chelsea’s transfer chief Marina Granovskaia, as per SPORT.

However, the report is now claiming that the Blues, after having shown a willingness to consider letting the two players leave in January, have now decided against it, leading to talks coming to a halt.

It is said that manager Thomas Tuchel does not wish to weaken his squad by sending either Ziyech or Werner out unless there are reinforcements brought in. And with Chelsea not planning to sign any attack-minded players in January, any exits for the current forwards seem to be off the table as well.

Barcelona’s priority has been the signing of Ferran Torres from Manchester City. However, given the difficulty to close that deal, they were keeping their options open. But it now seems like the Blaugrana will need to scratch the names of both Werner and Ziyech from their transfer wishlist for the winter window.

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