Maurizio Sarri took hardly any time at all to settle on his preferred starting line-up at Chelsea.
The Italian has rarely changed personnel for the sake of experimenting since taking the job at Stamford Bridge in the summer.
That holds especially true for the backline of Sarri’s 4-3-3 system, which Cesar Azpilicueta, Antonio Rudiger, David Luiz and Marcos Alonso have occupied for virtually the entirety of his reign to date.
His consistent selection policy has spelt bad news for certain members of the Blues squad, few more so than Andreas Christensen.
The 21-year-old - who played 40 matches under Antonio Conte last season - has been afforded just 90 minutes of Premier League action since his new boss arrived.
Speculation over his future at the west London club has only gathered momentum in the wake of Barcelona losing Samuel Umtiti to a knee injury in September.
While the La Liga leaders are thought to be considering Christensen as cover for the Frenchman’s possible long-term absence, Ernesto Valverde didn’t let on as much in his latest news conference.
“We want four centre-backs who can play,” he told reporters ahead of Sunday's trip to Levante, per Goal.
“Umtiti could recover and that would be great news for us and would mean that we would have four centre-backs for the rest of the season, although three are left-footed.
“We will know more about what happens with him in a little while, but we are Barcelona and want to have a team who can respond.
“As I said, we'll see what happens but I'm happy to manage with what I have.”
Conversely, Spanish media outlet Sport claim the Catalan giants have made a ‘formal offer’ for the Danish centre-back in a bid to cover Umtiti’s possible long-term absence.
Their report reads: “Barca have spent weeks combing the market in search for someone who can help for six months.
“The profile they're looking for is a young player who can come in for free with a possible option to buy in the summer. And Christensen was always No.1 on the list.”
However, instead of agreeing to a short-term loan, Chelsea are understood to prefer to let him go permanently - an option Barcelona aren’t keen to pursue in January.
The complex situation is reflected in the views of the Blues faithful, who can’t agree on whether Christensen should be sold, loaned out or kept at the club.
Here’s what they've had to say on the matter…
Christensen himself has made no secret of his unhappiness at Chelsea, so it could come down to how vocal he is about wanting a move away come January.
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