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Barcelona hit Chelsea with swap request as part of plans to offload misfit

Barcelona are reported to have sounded Chelsea out over a swap deal that could see Miralem Pjanic trade places with a Blues midfielder.

Pjanic joined Barcelona from Juventus in a swap deal with Arthur Melo last summer. However, the Bosnian has struggled to make a significant impression at Camp Nou. Just six of his 17 La Liga appearances so far have been as a starter and he’s yet to register a goal or assist.

And while contracted to Barcelona until 2024, reports in Spain claim they could allow Pjanic to move on this summer. To that end, Chelsea were linked with an approach to sign Pjanic just last week.

Now, according to Sport, Barca are more than willing to listen to any Chelsea approach for the 31-year-old. However, the Spanish paper claims that rather than accept a cash sale, they have instead asked the Blues about a swap deal.

As per the report, the player they are keen on is Jorginho, whom Ronald Koeman is a huge admirer of. In what has been dubbed ‘Operation Pjanic’, it’s claimed Barcelona have told the Blues a straight swap is the only way they’ll do business over Pjanic.

The Italy midfielder has been a leading player under Thomas Tuchel after struggling for form earlier this season. As such, it’s unlikely the Blues will entertain such an offer.

And given he’s two years the junior of Pjanic, it’s believed Chelsea will dismiss the would-be swap deal.

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Jorginho agent addresses Chelsea future

It’s the first time of course that Jorginho has been linked with the Chelsea exit door.

He has been frequently linked with a return to Serie A, both with Juventus and former club, Napoli.

However, his agent Jorge Santos is adamant that Jorginho wants to stay at Stamford Bridge.

“He will stay at Chelsea,” Santos told Radio Kiss Kiss.

“He still has a two-year contract with the English club and is only focused on finishing the season in the best possible way.”

Jorginho made 160 appearances for Napoli between 2014 and 2018 before moving to Chelsea with Maurizio Sarri.

However, Napoli were given hope of a deal when Santos added: “If Napoli will make an offer, we’ll evaluate it. He had a great time in Naples, and he has many friends over there.”

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