Chelsea and City will battle Barcelona to sign La Liga star

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Chelsea and Manchester City look set to go head-to-head with a fellow Champions League contender in the transfer market, with reports suggesting that the duo will battle Barcelona for the signing of Mateo Musacchio.

According to the Daily Express, Chelsea and City will lock horns with the Spanish champions for a player who has provided a sturdy base for Villarreal's strong La Liga form so far this season.

The 23-year-old, who joined his current employers from River Plate back in 2009, has displayed admirable form at the heart of Marcelino García Toral's defence this season and such performances have helped the top-flight newcomers to rise to fifth position in the league standings.

Earlier today, it was reported that Musacchio had emerged as a strong candidate for Gerardo Martino's Barcelona,  but the Express suggest that Chelsea and Manchester City are likely to make a move for the player when the transfer window re-opens for business in January.

One would have to think that beating a team as prestigious and celebrated as Barcelona to a player who already appears to have roots in Spain could be a tall order, however.

Chelsea, who currently sit third in the Premier League table despite the poor form of their current crop of strikers, have options in the heart of defence but the future of Brazilian maverick David Luiz appears unclear.

Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini, meanwhile, could certainly use one or two more options in that regard.

While the 2011/12 champions have successfully swept all before them at home this season in truly formidable style, it has been somewhat of a different story away from home and City looked extremely vulnerable during the absence of skipper Vincent Kompany.

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