Cesar Azpilicueta is reportedly keen on staying put at Chelsea and will turn down Barcelona if he can extend his deal with the Blues.
According to a report by The Athletic, Cesar Azpilicueta will snub the opportunity to join Barcelona on a Bosman move in next summer’s transfer if things go his way. The Chelsea captain is eager to remain at Stamford Bridge and wishes to extend his contract with the Blues.
Cesar Azpilicueta joined Chelsea from Marseille in August 2012 and has since been a reliable member of the first-team setup at Stamford Bridge. The 32-year-old has also been the Blues’ club captain since the start of the 2019/20 season, while his status as one of Chelsea’s best modern-day players is irrefutable.
To date, the Spanish international has made 448 appearances for Chelsea, chipping in with 14 goals and 56 assists in the process. However, Azpilicueta is starting to get phased out at Chelsea, with his contract situation further creating an air of uncertainty surrounding him. And that has captured the attention of Barcelona.
The interest from Barcelona is understandable on two accounts. Firstly, the Catalan giants need to sign a centre-back at all costs next summer, as Eric Garcia has flattered to deceive since arriving on a Bosman move from Manchester City this past summer. In addition, Gerard Pique is in the final phase of his career and will need to be moved on quickly.
At the same time, Samuel Umtiti has been deemed surplus to requirements by Barcelona, while Clement Lenglet has suffered a major dip in fortunes. That leaves Ronald Araujo as the only reliable centre-back at Barcelona, with the Uruguayan international coincidentally heavily linked with Chelsea.
Secondly, Azpilicueta’s impending status as a free agent should further make him an appealing target for Barcelona amid their financial turmoil. However, the Catalan giants have been handed a major blow in the race to sign the Chelsea captain, who has no intention of departing Stamford Bridge anytime soon.
Such a development comes in the wake of claims that Azpilicueta is in advanced talks with Barcelona, which appears to be far from the truth. While the Chelsea captain is not opposed to the idea of joining Barcelona, he remains committed to the Blues.
However, while Chelsea will only offer the 32-year-old a 12-month extension, Azpilicueta is looking for a longer contract. But with the west Londoners in a precarious position over the futures of Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen, it behoves them to tie Azpilicueta down to a new deal. It remains to be seen if the Spanish international signs a new contract or is forced to join Barcelona instead.