Barcelona To Make ‘Danish Maldini’ First Summer Signing: Report

Paolo Maldini

Getty Paolo Maldini in action for AC Milan.

Barcelona are set to complete their first signing for next season imminently by agreeing a deal to bring in Chelsea center-back Andreas Christensen on a five-year contract.

The defender, who has been nicknamed the ‘Danish Maldini’ during his time at Stamford Bridge, will arrive on a free transfer and become Barca’s first signing ahead of the 2022-23 campaign, as reported by Javier Miguel at Diario AS.

Christensen’s arrival will also open up the possibility of central defenders Clement Lenglet and Samuel Umtiti departing the Camp Nou. Both Frenchmen have struggled for game time this season and have spent the majority of the campaign on the bench.

The Denmark international was wanted by other clubs but did not want to move to another Premier League side “out of respect” for Chelsea, as reported by transfer expert Fabrizio Romano.

Barcelona also appear to have beaten off competition from Bavarian giants Bayern Munich for Christensen’s signature. The Catalans’ bid was “way better” than the offer made by the Bundesliga champions.

Christensen’s arrival will mean that Xavi has four center-backs for next season with the 25-year-old joining Gerard Pique, Ronald Araujo, and Eric Garcia in the first-team squad at the Camp Nou.

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Christensen Talks ‘Danish Maldini’ Nickname

Christensen was handed the ‘Danish Maldini’ nickname by Chelsea supporters as a sign of their appreciation for his efforts, as reported by Goal. The Dane has admitted he was quite flattered to be compared to the Italian legend.

“I have always been taught to look at Italian defenders like Cannavaro growing up so I was always watching them. They were the ones I watched out for to learn from so for me it is great [to have that nickname],” he said. “I grew up looking at Daniel Agger as a bit of a role model because he went from Brondby to Liverpool early in his career. That was always a hope for young players watching him come through and he was in a Champions League final too with Liverpool.”

Paolo Maldini is one of the greatest defenders ever to grace the game, winning countless Serie A titles with AC Milan, lifting the European Cup five times and winning over 100 caps for the Italian national team.

Barcelona To Sign Four Free Agents?

Christensen may not be the only free agent to arrive at Barcelona this summer, according to Miguel. AC Milan midfielder Franck Kessie, Ajax full-back Noussair Mazraoui and Christensen’s Chelsea teammate Cesar Azpilicueta have also been targeted.

The four players would join 18-year-old Pablo Torre in making the switch to Barcelona this summer. The Catalan giants have already confirmed the teenager has agreed a move from Racing Santander on a four-year deal.

Torre celebrated his impending transfer by producing another eye-catching performance for current club Racing, scoring in a 1-1 draw against Talavera, as shown by Footters.

Barcelona are reportedly targeting free agents to strengthen the squad so that they can go “all out” for prolific Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland who has a release clause of €75 million that kicks in during summer 2022.

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