Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta explains decision to reject Barcelona transfer

Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta has been speaking about his decision to reject Barcelona during the summer.
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Chelsea star Cesar Azpilicueta has explained his decision to reject Barcelona last summer.

Azpilicueta has become a Chelsea legend over the last decade, and he captains the club these days, having played a pivotal role under a number of managers during his long stint at Stamford Bridge. Though, last summer, he was close to leaving the club after his contract was allowed to tick down close to zero.

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The Blues did have an automatic extension option built into Azpilicueta’s deal, but out of respect to their long-serving skipper, they did not want to activate it without having the confirmation he wanted to stay. When Barcelona came calling, offering a return to Spain, Azpilicueta’s stay was put in doubt, but he ultimately penned a new deal to stick around.

In doing so, the Spain international rejected Barcelona’s advances, deciding not to follow Andreas Christensen and Marcos Alonso in making the switch to Camp Nou. And during a press conference at the World Cup with Spain, Azpilicueta has now explained how the whole situation played out.

“At Chelsea I played less than 30 games and I was already a free agent,” he said. “It had never happened to me in my life. But the new owners arrived and they showed me the desire to stay with me. London is my home and my children speak English better than Spanish. When I made the decision I think Xavi understood it. If things are clear, they are understood.”

Azpilicueta wound up signing a two-year contract, and now 33 years of age, he will come very close to the end of his career at Stamford Bridge. The veteran has started seven times so far this season, featuring regularly under new boss Graham Potter.

In the meantime, Azpilicueta will be going for gold with Spain at the World Cup in Qatar, and he has started two of La Roja’s three games so far.

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