English Premier League club Chelsea are reportedly on high alert after German Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund's Argentine-born Paraguayan center forward Lucas Barrios expressed his unhappiness at the club and his readiness to leave and pursue his career elsewhere.
Barrios, also known as La Pantera (The Panther), for his predatory instincts in front of goal, had previously interested the Blues in the summer, after an excellent performance for his current club last season, when he scored 21 goals in 41 appearances across all competitions; the effort helped Dortmund to their seventh league title. It was then reported that the German club turned down an offer of £17.5 million from Chelsea.
Although both Dortmund and their manager, Jurgen Klopp, managed to ward off any further interest for Barrios over the summer, deeming him to be irreplaceable, an injury to the 27-year-old at the start of the season has seen him struggle to retain his place in the team's starting line-up.
The player's own declaration that he may consider his future at his current club, could have alerted the English team who are on the lookout for a specialist striker following the departure of Frenchman Nicolas Anelka (to Chinese Super League club Shanghai Shenua and the refusal of Ivorian Didier Drogba to sign a new contract.
Meanwhile, Barrios is reportedly deeply unhappy at being placed on the bench despite having scored so many goals for the club. However, he has stressed he respects his manager's decision to deploy another player and will continue to be a professional about it all.
The player was clearly emotional about his current situation, particularly since he feels his performances have always been of the highest quality and he remains ready to discuss his future at the club. He seems to realize, according to reports, the situation has changed and claims he just wants to play the game, rather than being paid to sit on the bench.
The Paraguayan did attract attention, at the end of last season, from clubs based in Russia, England and Italy but decided to stay with Dortmund. Now, however, he feels it is better for him to move on, particularly if the club no longer needs his services, according to a Sportsvibe.co.uk report.
Lucas Ramon Barrios Caceres, who arrived at Dortmund in 2009 from Chilean club Colo-Colo, for a reported fee of around £4 million, has managed to score a total of 44 goals from the 88 games that he has played thus far.