Right-back could leave due to Chelsea policy and better contract offer from Spain [Opinion]

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

Cezar Azpilicueta has an uncertain future at Chelsea as his deal is up this summer and he’s yet to put pen to paper on a contract extension. The 32-year-old wants a two-year deal to stay at Stamford Bridge, but the Blues have a policy not to offer more than a 12-month extension to players aged 30 and above.

The policy led to Cesc Fabregas leaving for AS Monaco in 2019 as they offered a longer contract than Chelsea. It also led to Willian leaving in 2020 because Arsenal handed him a three-year deal rather than the two years Chelsea offered. Azpilicueta could end up departing for the same reason, as the Blues don’t appear to be budging on a one-year deal.

This is where Barcelona come in. The Catalan giants are willing to hand Azpilicueta a three-year deal to return to Spain, so they might have success in prizing him away from Chelsea. Azpilicueta has made it clear that he doesn’t want to leave the West London outfit, citing how he has family in the city and has spent 10 years at Stamford Bridge. But he might not have a choice.

Chelsea aren’t making any progression in negotiations as they’re unwilling to meet the Spanish international’s demands, so this could be Azpilicueta’s final season at the club. Since joining from Olympique Marseille, Azpilicueta has gone on to make 460 appearances in all competitions, scoring 15 goals with 46 assists.

He’s still featuring regularly under Thomas Tuchel this season, playing in 31/42 games, and remains the club captain, but Chelsea are willing to let him go rather than amend their policy. The Blues have broken the role before by agreeing a two-year deal with a 32-year-old David Luiz in 2019, but reports suggest Azpilicueta won’t get similar treatment.

It will be a sad day when the man, affectionately known as ‘Dave’, leaves the club after 10 years.