If there is one remaining position that Barcelona had been hoping to strengthen above all others, it might have been full-back. They won’t be able to do so with Cesar Azpilicueta though.
Azpilicueta, 32, had been pursued by Barcelona for some time, but Thomas Tuchel and Chelsea have dug their heels in. With negotiations traversing months without a deal, the stalling has allowed Chelsea to continue persuading Azpilicueta.
On Thursday evening it was announced by Chelsea that their captain would be staying at the club and signing a new two-year contract. Azpilicueta told the club media team that he was content to be continuing in London.
“I am really happy to extend my stay at Chelsea, my home. It is almost 10 years since I first arrived and joined the club so I really feel the love and I am really excited for the new project we have in our hands.”
Mr. Chelsea. Two more years. 💙 pic.twitter.com/j8lYVl3km4
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) August 4, 2022
This news comes as something of a blow to Barcelona, who had been determined to get a deal for the Spanish international done. It leaves them with Sergino Dest, Ronald Araujo and Sergi Roberto as their options at right-back.
Only Dest is a natural at the position and Xavi Hernandez’s selections showed that he did not altogether trust Dest in the big moments last season. The Blaugrana will now have to re-evaluate their strategy for the position.