What Joan Laporta has said about Barcelona’s pursuit of Chelsea duo amid ‘agreement’ claims
Barcelona president Joan Laporta has spoken amid his club’s reported pursuit of Chelsea duo Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso.
Azpilicueta and Alonso both have just one year remaining on their respective contracts, and there is no sign of them penning new deals.
Azpilicueta is a club legend and the Blues’ current captain, but he is now 32 years of age, and he appears to want a return to Spain.
Meanwhile, Alonso is 31 and he is likely to see his playing time reduced over the coming years, even if he did stay beyond this season.
Still, both players could be very useful in the coming season, and Thomas Tuchel wants to keep them both.
In the meantime, it has been reported Barcelona have agreed personal terms with the players, but president of the Catalan giants, Laporta, doesn’t want to speak about the situation in public.
“They are under contract at Chelsea and we respect this as well as the new owner. I don’t want to talk about players who belong to other teams,” he told CBS Sports.
“I respect Cesar and Marcos as footballers. They are very, very good players. They show their quality and talent at Chelsea.
“But I don’t want to talk about them as a matter of respect for Chelsea.”
The comments come after Thomas Tuchel admitted he was ‘a little bit’ annoyed with Barcelona over their pursuit of Azpilicueta, in particular.
Speaking about his captain, he added: “He is a hugely important player for Napoli but we have a Spanish international who is the captain at Chelsea. 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. On the first of September when things calm down, then he can play on his highest level.”