According to reports, Chelsea’s Cesar Azpilicueta is a target for Barcelona as they look to replace the outgoing Dani Alves.
Dani Alves’ move to Juventus is all but made official and Barcelona have wasted no time in their hunt for potential replacements. It was reported earlier that the Catalan giants had set their sights on Arsenal’s Hector Bellerin who has lit up the Premier League with his fine performances for the Gunners this season.
But according to a report in Telegraph, Arsenal are willing to offer the former La Masia student a contract extension even though he has 3 years remaining on his current deal. A last minute injury to Dani Carvajal has seen Bellerin get called up to the Spanish squad for the Euros and it is highly unlikely that Arsenal will let one of their star players leave. If Barcelona were to try and prise him away from the Gunners, he wouldn’t go for cheap.
The report states that Chelsea’s Cesar Azpilicueta is on Barcelona’s list of potential replacements. The 26-year-old Spanish international has also been linked with a move to Athletic Bilbao but it is unlikely that Chelsea will let him go, with three years remaining on his contract. He didn’t have the best of seasons at Chelsea but was one the few Chelsea players who weren’t completely terrible.
Azpilicueta is reported to have said that he intends to stay at Chelsea for the next few years and that he was very happy here. He said “I plan on staying another few years at Chelsea. I’m very happy there. I’m not thinking about leaving the club. I’m only thinking of (playing for) the Blues.” He didn’t rule out a possible move elsewhere, however saying “But if I have to leave it would be for a club where I could develop even more than at Chelsea.”
Cesar to the Camp Nou?
The lure of the Nou Camp and the possibility of challenging for Europe’s top honours every year may prove tempting for Chelsea’s number 28. Quite a few of his team mates in the Spanish contingent play for Barcelona as well and they will surely try and convince him to make the switch come the end of the Euros. After a difficult season with Chelsea, incoming manager Antonio Conte is expected to start a re-building job at Stamford Bridge as they gear up to face the once-impossible reality of not playing in the Champions League next season.
However, it is safe to say that whoever Barcelona manage to bring in to fill the vacant spot at right-back, they will most likely never be able to get a like-for-like replacement for the Brazilian speedster.
Alves is Barcelona’s greatest ever right-back and he will be sorely missed at the Nou Camp. His time at Barcelona has been nothing but successful and his partnership with Messi on the right flank is one which the Barca faithful will remember for years to come. There is not a fullback in the world who can offer what Dani Alves can, and he can never, ever truly be replaced. With options and time both running out, Barcelona face a difficult summer ahead as they try to fill in the large void that has been left by the departure of the Brazilian.