The Blues have tied down Spanish defender Cesar Azpilicueta to a new three-and-a-half-year contract

The 27-year-old had become one of the key players in the current Chelsea set-up, operating on the right side of manager Antonio Conte’s three man defence. Azpilicueta has played all along the back-line for the Blues, and the club will be pleased that he has committed his long term future to the club.

The versatile defender was upbeat about the new deal, even as he stands to make his 200th appearance for the club against Sunderland on Wednesday.

“I’m really happy to have signed a new contract,” said Azpilicueta, according to the official Chelsea website.

“Since I arrived here my target was to progress as a player and win trophies. This new contract gives me the chance to continue my relationship with the club, that’s what I wanted and obviously I’m really happy here.”

The versatile defender took the opportunity to laud new manager Antonio Conte. Azpilicueta spoke highly of the Italian and the new tactical set-up he has introduced at Stamford Bridge.

“We’ve had some really good moments so far this season. From day one, we started working very hard. We have a new manager with new ideas and I’m really happy to be working with him,” he said.

It is being reported that he will now be earning wages of £75,000 per week.

Chelsea's Cesar Azpilicueta in action during the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester City and Chelsea at Etihad Stadium, Manchester, Britain, 16 August 2015. (Photo by Peter Powell/EPA)

Chelsea’s Cesar Azpilicueta in action during the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester City and Chelsea at Etihad Stadium, Manchester, Britain, 16 August 2015. (Photo courtesy Peter Powell/EPA)

Azpilicueta started his Chelsea career at right-back, after arriving from Marseille in 2012. He was then moved to left-back by then manager Jose Mourinho, and made the position his own for the better part of two seasons.

Italian manger Antonio Conte has now turned him into a central defender, and the versatile Spaniard seems nonplussed at the situation. He has become a vital cog in the Chelsea machine, as the Blues are sitting pretty at the top of the Premier League table.

The new contract means that Azpilicueta will probably spend the remainder of his peak years at Stamford Bridge. With the success that the current team is enjoying, a few more of their in-form players could be expecting lucrative new contracts soon.

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