Real Madrid and Barcelona are reportedly set to go head-to-head in pursuit of Chelsea defender Cesar Azpilicueta in the summer.

Spanish publication Don Balon have reported that Real Madrid and Barcelona are interested in signing Cesar Azpilicueta. The two La Liga giants are all set to battle each other for the Chelsea defender in the summer transfer window.

Azpilicueta’s career has taken off since he made the switch to Chelsea from Marseille in 2012. In fact, the Spaniard’s development has been so remarkable that he is considered as one of the most consistent performers in the Premier League today.

Azpilicueta has proven to be an immensely valuable asset for Chelsea during his time at Stamford Bridge with his versatility, playing as a left-back, wing-back, centre-back as well as in his preferred position as right-back.

However, despite being deployed in different positions across the back-line, Azpilicueta has proven to be one of the most solid defenders in the English top-flight. This season, the player has been ever present at the back for Chelsea, playing in every game for the newly-crowned Premier League champions, even managing to chip in with 2 goals and 7 assists.

His stellar performances have now seen him attract the interest of two of the biggest clubs in Europe, with Real Madrid and Barcelona set to vie for his signature in the summer.

At Real Madrid, Zinedine Zidane has quality options for both sides of defence in Dani Carvajal and Marcelo, while Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane make for a top quality central defensive partnership.

However, beyond these four players, the Frenchman has precious little to choose from, leaving him short on options to choose from for his back-line. Azpilicueta, thus, presents himself as not just an additional option for the Real Madrid boss to consider, but one who could become a regular at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Azpilicueta is a man in demand! (Photo courtesy - Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Azpilicueta is a man in demand! (Photo courtesy – Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Meanwhile, Barcelona’s need to sign a defender is quite pressing, particularly for the right side of defence where they have failed to replace Dani Alves since his departure from Camp Nou last summer.

While Aleix Vidal has been unimpressive since joining Barcelona last season, Sergi Roberto has often excelled in the makeshift right-back role. However, it has been widely reported that Roberto will contest for a place in the heart of Barcelona midfield next season, accentuating the club’s need to sign a right-back in the summer.

But despite being linked with the two heavyweights, it is believed that Azpilicueta is content at Stamford Bridge and is committed to Chelsea. In fact, he only penned a new long-term deal with the West London club in December, when he insisted that he is happy at SW6.

Therefore, it is unlikely that we will see Azpilicueta leave Chelsea anytime soon, meaning Real Madrid and Barcelona might have to set their sights elsewhere for a defensive reinforcements in the summer.

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