Chelsea, Newcastle United and Manchester City are monitoring developments at Barcelona over Deco's situation.

The Portugal international started Sunday's 0-0 draw at Racing Santander on the bench and last night was given a back-handed compliment by president Joan Laporta.

"We preferred the Deco of two or three years ago," said Laporta, "compared to the one of last year, but we want him to recover his best level.

"He wants to know that we want him and we already have clearly said this."

Chelsea remain favourites to land Deco should he choose to leave the Nou Camp, as he shares the same agent as Blues boss Jose Mourinho and remains good friends with his former Porto coach.