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Barcelona and Liverpool wanted Benoit Badiashile before Chelsea move

European giants Barcelona and Liverpool both targeted a move for young centre-back Benoit Badiashile before his January transfer to Chelsea, according to

Badiashile is one of many new faces to arrive at Stamford Bridge this term. He was the Blues’ first signing of the January transfer window, signing a seven-and-a-half-year deal from Monaco for an estimated £34 million fee.

While many of Chelsea’s big-money signings have struggled to adapt, the Frenchman has made an immediate impact. In five matches in England, he has conceded just two goals while contributing to three clean sheets.

However, things could have been very different for the 21-year-old. Badiashile was the subject of interest from Barcelona and Liverpool before his move to Chelsea.

La Blaugrana currently boast the best defensive record in Europe’s top five leagues. In 23 league games, they have conceded just eight goals. This has helped them establish a healthy seven-point lead at the top of La Liga.

However, the retirement of Gerard Pique back in November has left the Catalan outfit somewhat thin at centre-back. Their only senior options at the heart of defence are Ronald Araujo, Andreas Christensen, and Eric Garcia, with regular right-back Jules Kounde also capable of covering there.

Chelsea and Barcelona have been in close competition in the transfer market in the last year. The pair battled for Kounde and Raphinha last summer, with both players favouring a move to Camp Nou.

As for Liverpool, their backline hasn’t been as solid as usual. Star centre-back Virgil van Dijk has looked way below his best, and there are concerns that he could be declining.

Meanwhile, Joel Matip turns 32 in the summer and could soon need replacing. Joe Gomez has not progressed as hoped, while Ibrahima Konate has struggled with injuries.

Next up for Chelsea is a home clash with Leeds United, as they look to get their season back on track. This is followed by the second leg of the Champions League round of 16 tie against Borussia Dortmund, having lost the first leg 1-0.

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