Barcelona are leading the race to land Chelsea outcast Antonio Rudiger, although his former side Roma and Paris Saint-Germain are also keen.

The 27-year-old defender has fallen down the pecking order under manager Frank Lampard at Stamford Bridge and hasn’t featured in any of their first three games this term.

Andreas Christensen and Kurt Zouma have started both PL games at centre-back, while Thiago Silva and Fikayo Tomori started the Carabao Cup win over Barnsley on Wednesday.

This leaves Antonio as the fifth choice in the centre of defence and Frank is happy to let him leave before the transfer market closes on 5 October, as a result.

German publication Kicker claims that Barcelona are keen on the German and are in a strong position to sign him as new head coach Ronald Koeman builds a new roster at the Camp Nou.

Roma, the club Chelsea purchased Rudiger from, are also interested in sealing a deal, with the Daily Mail report that Thomas Tuchel’s Paris Saint-Germain want to agree a season-long loan for the player.

Asked about the situation with his central defenders on Tuesday, Lampard said: ‘With the centre-halves, I can’t have them all in the squad. I keep getting asked about the size of the squad.

‘There might be movement, we know that, but nothing is concrete so don’t read too much into those selections at the minute.

‘It will have to be things which are right for the club and individuals and me and in terms of what happens in the next couple of weeks.’