Several names have been linked with Barcelona for months in regards to their recruitment plan, perhaps none more so than Franck Kessie, Andreas Christensen and Cesar Azpilicueta. The first two are presumed done by many, while Azpilicueta remains an interesting case.
The Chelsea defender was out of contract this summer, but had a clause allowing the club to extend his contract unilaterally for a year if he reached 30 games – something that duly took place.
That didn’t end speculation over Azpilicueta’s future though. Sport say that the Navarran is one of Xavi Hernandez prime targets for the summer, but that the exits of Christensen and Antonio Rudiger on frees have made the Azpilicueta deal trickier. Chelsea will be reluctant to part with their captain too and with Barcelona struggling for funds, will have to negotiate hard to get a deal done.
On the flipside, Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel clearly feels he needs to persuade Azpilicueta to want to stay rather than forcing him to. According to The Telegraph [paywall], Tuchel is sweating in order to get Azpilicueta to change his mind, which had been made for Barcelona.
Following the conclusion of the Nations League fixtures, Chelsea will sit down with Azpilicueta for further talks. From Barcelona’s perspective, he would be a solution to their woes at right-back and a valuable boost in terms of filling their leadership void.