Barcelona are reportedly set to make a move for Cesar Azpilicueta following Chelsea’s acquisition of Antonio Rudiger last week.

According to Cadena Cope journalist Manolo Lama, Barcelona have set their sights on Cesar Azpilicueta over a possible summer switch to Camp Nou. Lama has claimed that Antonio Rudiger’s move to Chelsea has opened the door for the Spanish defender the join the Blaugrana.

Azpilicueta’s career has been on a consistently upward trajectory ever since he joined Chelsea from Marseille in the summer of 2012. So much so, that the player has established himself as one of the most dependable defenders in Europe over the last five years.

Azpilicueta’s versatility, in particular, has made him a huge asset for Chelsea, as he is equally adept at playing as a traditional full-back, wing-back as well as a centre-back. And as the Blues reclaimed their Premier League title in the 2016/17 season, the Spaniard was ever present at the back, playing every game in the campaign.

Azpilicueta even managed to contribute to his team’s cause by bagging 2 goals and 7 assists. His exploits have resulted in interest from Barcelona, in particular, who are keeping a keen eye on him over a possible move in the summer transfer window.

The Catalan club have struggled to find a replacement for Dani Alves following his departure from Camp Nou last summer. While Aleix Vidal was earmarked as a like-for-like replacement for the Brazilian, the Spaniard has failed to live up to his billing thus far.

Moreover, Vidal lost his place in Luis Enrique’s side last season to Sergi Roberto, who excelled in a makeshift role at right-back. However, the 25-year-old is set to return to midfield under Ernesto Valverde in the forthcoming season, thereby prompting the Barcelona boss to delve into the transfer market for a right-back.

While Hector Bellerin is reportedly his primary target, the Arsenal defender is likely to remain at Emirates as per latest reports. Therefore, Azpilicueta has emerged as a target for Valverde. The player can potentially be a valuable asset with his reliable defending and abilities on the ball.

Although, it remains to be seen if the 27-year-old will make the move to Barcelona this summer as he continues to remain one of the most fundamental components in the first-team setup at Stamford Bridge.

Lama, however, claims that Antonio Rudiger’s arrival at Chelsea could put Azpilicueta’s place under threat. Should that be the case, the Spaniard might be open to leaving the West London club, with Barcelona the leading candidates to land him.

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