Report: Defender could leave Chelsea due to contract dispute, La Liga side likes his ‘versatility’

Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge stadium by Ank kumar, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Cesar Azpilicueta has an uncertain future at Chelsea as his current deal is up in the summer and he isn’t close to putting pen to paper on an extension. The 32-year-old wants to stay at Stamford Bridge but is requesting a two-year deal with the option of a third, which Sport (h/t Sport Witness) say Chelsea aren’t willing to offer.

Chelsea don’t often offer more than one-year deals to their players aged 30 and above at the time of negotiations, so Azpilicueta may not get what he wants. And Sport believe Barcelona could capitalise on the situation if the Spanish international ends up leaving at the end of the season.

The Catalan giants are 8th in La Liga for goals conceded (23), so it’s clear they need to strengthen their backline. They like Azpilicueta’s ‘versatility’ and ‘experience’, but he would be a very short-term signing given he’ll turn 33 in August.

As things stand, the Spaniard will be leaving Chelsea after a successful 10-year stay in West London, but he’ll have to temper his demands to agree a new deal. Thomas Tuchel alluded to that in December, saying Azpilicueta has everything in his hands to sign a contract, so it appears he’s asking for more than Chelsea are willing to match.

It would be sad if Azpilicueta left this summer. The 32-year-old joined Chelsea from  Olympique Marseille in 2012 and has gone on to make 454 appearances across the board, scoring 14 goals with 56 assists. Azpilicueta is the club captain and regularly skippers the team in all competitions, so he’s an important player.

Sports View summary

Chelsea shouldn’t let Azpilicueta leave in the coming months, but they don’t like to tie down ageing players to long-term deals. It’s hard to see Barcelona making a concerted effort to sign the Spaniard at the end of the season though, as they’ll surely have other targets to move for when the summer transfer window opens.