Cesar Azpilicueta to Barcelona transfer; Chelsea contract, Thomas Tuchel hits back

Cesar Azpilicueta continues to be linked with a move away from Chelsea, and we have rounded up all the latest.

Chelsea are still battling to keep hold of Cesar Azpilicueta amid uncertainty over the Spaniard’s future.

Azpilicueta has been heavily linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge, with just one year remaining on the defender’s contract.

The versatile full-back has been with Chelsea since 2012, set to celebrate his 10-year anniversary at the club in late August.

That’s if he stays at Stamford Bridge, and in that vein, we have rounded up all we know about Azpilicueta’s situation.

Azpilicueta’s contract situation

Azpilicueta was set to be out of contract this summer, but he had a special clause inserted into his contract.

The clause meant the veteran’s contract would be automatically renewed for a further year if he played in a certain amount of games.

That clause was activated in the season just gone, meaning Azpilicueta is tied down until next summer.

Barcelona links

Barcelona have been heavily linked with a move for Azpilicueta this summer, keen to further improve their back-line.

Azpilicueta is seen as a cheap option for Barca, given his contract situation, and the Spanish giants know they would be adding leadership and experience in the process.

There is also a general feeling the defender would like to return to Spain at some point, but a Chelsea legend, he is not going to push his way out of the club.

There were reports earlier this week claiming Barca have reached a ‘total agreement’ with Azpilicueta, but the deal does not seem any closer to being wrapped up.

What has Azpilicueta said?

The Spaniard has been rather quiet on his future, but he did speak during international duty back in March.

“It’s not the right moment or place to speak about my future,” he said.

“If we have learned anything during the pandemic, it is to live day to day. I am enjoying being with the national team.”

What has Tuchel said?

In a fresh update, Tuchel has all-but admitted Azpilicueta wants to move to Barcelona, but he has also said he may not sanction a move.

“It is a tough question because I am not sure if I want to give Azpi what he wants,” Tuchel said. “At some point, it is about what we want. I just made the comparison about how much we fought for Koulibaly, who is a national team player and roughly the same age.

“He is a hugely important player for Napoli, but we have a Spanish international who is the captain at Chelsea.

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“I see him maybe at the same level, but Barcelona don’t see him on that level. So I am not sure if I want to give him what he wants as he is a huge player.

“We don’t think so much about other clubs. The focus is on us and what we need. I said that to him and I say it to you that I understand on a personal and a career level.

“But I am not only in this role to give him what he wants. I am a manager for Chelsea who wants to do what’s best for Chelsea.

“He doesn’t like it, but he understands. It is tough for him because the other club is permanently on him.”