Official: Liverpool complete the signing of Chelsea target, Conte now wants Burnley Star

Chelsea have joined Arsenal and Manchester City in the race for Burnley centre back James Tarkowski, according to reports.

According to The Times, the Gunners and Pep Guardiola’s side were eyeing the Clarets defender in a bid to strengthen their options at centre half, and it seems the Chelsea are also keen on the former Brentford defender.

The Star claim the Blues have been impressed with Tarkowski’s role in Burnley’s excellent season so far. The defender has formed a formidable partnership with Ben Mee at the heart of the defence, with Sean Dyche’s men having the fourth best defensive record in the Premier League.

Tarkowski is serving a three-match ban after being charged for violent conduct in the draw against Brighton.

Blues boss Antonio Conte was reportedly keen on recruiting a defender in January but his plans to sign Southampton’s Virgil van Dijk were scuppered after Liverpool agreed a £75m deal to sign the centre half.

The Dutch defender, who will become the most expensive defender in world football, joins the Reds on January 1 when the transfer window opens.

Chelsea’s plan to recruit a new defender could have repercussions for David Luiz’s future at Stamford Bridge.

The Brazilian is currently out with a knee injury, but was out of favour with Conte preferring to use Andreas Christensen at the heart of a back three.

Arsenal and Real Madrid have been linked with a £30 million move for the former Paris Saint-Germain centre back, but Conte has refused to comment on the speculation.

When asked about Luiz’s future at the club last week, Conte said: “I don’t know. Andreas Christensen is the present and future for Chelsea.

“I don’t read. I don’t have some information about this topic. I repeat, I am very realistic and tell the truth. I answered about him a few days ago.”

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