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Barcelona set sights on veteran Chelsea defender in free transfer next summer

Barcelona set sights on veteran Chelsea defender in free transfer next summer

Barcelona eye free move for Azpilicueta

Spanish giants Barcelona are rumoured to be interested in bringing Chelsea captain and Spanish international veteran César Azpilicueta back home for the first time since 2010, with the 32-year-old defender out of contract in the summer at Stamford Bridge.

Azpilicueta remains a key participant in the first-team under Thomas Tuchel since the German’s arrival halfway through last season, making fourteen appearances across all competitions this season.

But according to Transfer News Live citing Spanish publication MARCA as a source, Barça is manoeuvring to bring in another veteran presence into the dressing room under Xavi.

SB Nation’s Reshad Rahman also tweeted the same earlier, referencing ESPN and Diario Sport writer Samuel Marsden.

Now 32-years-old, despite his excellent record of service for Chelsea across a decade in west London and over 300-appearances for the club, the Blues have little reason to extend his terms at Stamford Bridge after England international Reece James is far and away the first-choice option on the right side of the defence. Though it remains unclear what role Azpilicueta would play at Barca given their recent free move for club icon Dani Alves and the continued growth of Sergiño Dest, a move back to La Liga could at least set him up for the twilight of his career before hanging up his boots.

Contract concerns in the Chelsea backline

César Azpilicueta is not the only Chelsea defender that is out of contract in the summer at Thomas Tuchel’s table-topping outfit.

Veteran Brazilian Thiago Silva, Danish international Andreas Christensen, and German stalwart Antonio Rüdiger are all without gainful employment next season if they do not extend terms at Chelsea, and would be free to move where their heart desires in the summer.

Barcelona set sights on veteran Chelsea defender in free transfer next summer

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – MAY 08: Andreas Christensen of Chelsea during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Chelsea at Etihad Stadium on May 8, 2021 in Manchester, United Kingdom. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images)

Christensen specifically could be one of the most affected at the moment, with the Brøndby IF trained and Chelsea perfected center-back failing to appear in the club’s last-three outings amidst his contract standoff with the Blues.

The continued delay in both parties finding amicable terms could force Chelsea into a conundrum that could see the current Champions League holders go out and splash £50million on a replacement if the Dane does not make a decision soon.


This article was edited by Ben Browning.

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# Team MP D P
1 Manchester City 22 41 56
2 Liverpool FC 21 37 45
3 Chelsea FC 23 28 44
4 West Ham United 22 11 37
5 Tottenham Hotspur 19 4 36
6 Arsenal FC 20 8 35
7 Manchester United 21 5 35
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 20 2 31
9 Brighton & Hove Albion 21 0 29
10 Leicester City 19 -3 25
11 Crystal Palace 21 -1 24
12 Southampton FC 21 -8 24
13 Aston Villa 20 -5 23
14 Brentford FC 22 -11 23
15 Leeds United 20 -15 22
16 Everton FC 19 -10 19
17 Watford FC 19 -14 14
18 Norwich City 21 -35 13
19 Newcastle United 20 -23 12
20 Burnley FC 17 -11 11

Premier League 21/22

Topscorers
Disciplinary
Assists
Player Team Goals
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 16
Jota, Diogo Liverpool FC 10
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City 9
Antonio, Michail West Ham United 8
Dennis, Emmanuel Watford FC 8
Ronaldo, Cristiano Manchester United 8
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur 8
Smith-Rowe, Emile Arsenal FC 8
Raphinha Leeds United 8
Mane, Sadio Liverpool FC 8
Fernandes, Bruno Manchester United 7
Mount, Mason Chelsea FC 7
Gallagher, Conor Crystal Palace 7
Sterling, Raheem Manchester City 7
Maupay, Neal Brighton & Hove Albion 7
Silva, Bernardo Manchester City 7
Bowen, Jarrod West Ham United 6
Mahrez, Riyad Manchester City 6
Saka, Bukayo Arsenal FC 6
Maddison, James Leicester City 6