Chelsea veteran on Barcelona’s radar for free transfer in the summer

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

Barcelona eye free move for Azpilicueta

Spanish giants Barcelona are rumored 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 maneuvering 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 defense. 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.

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 Chelsea FC 13 26 30
2 Manchester City 13 20 29
3 Liverpool FC 13 28 28
4 West Ham United 13 8 23
5 Arsenal FC 13 -2 23
6 Wolverhampton Wanderers 13 0 20
7 Tottenham Hotspur 12 -6 19
8 Manchester United 13 -1 18
9 Brighton & Hove Albion 13 -2 18
10 Leicester City 13 -3 18
11 Brentford FC 13 0 16
12 Crystal Palace 14 -1 16
13 Aston Villa 13 -3 16
14 Everton FC 13 -4 15
15 Leeds United 14 -7 15
16 Southampton FC 13 -7 14
17 Watford FC 13 -6 13
18 Norwich City 14 -20 10
19 Burnley FC 12 -6 9
20 Newcastle United 14 -14 7
Player Team Goals
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 11
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City 9
Mane, Sadio Liverpool FC 7
Jota, Diogo Liverpool FC 7
Antonio, Michail West Ham United 6
Raphinha Leeds United 6
Dennis, Emmanuel Watford FC 5
King, Joshua Watford FC 5
Pukki, Teemu Norwich City 5
Wilson, Callum Newcastle United 5
Cornet, Maxwel Burnley FC 5
Sarr, Ismaila Watford FC 5
James, Reece Chelsea FC 4
Fernandes, Bruno Manchester United 4
Gallagher, Conor Crystal Palace 4
Ronaldo, Cristiano Manchester United 4
Toney, Ivan Brentford FC 4
Smith-Rowe, Emile Arsenal FC 4
Benteke, Christian Crystal Palace 4
Aubameyang, Pierre-Emerick Arsenal FC 4

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