Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta has made a shocking decision to reject a move to Barcelona and sign a new 2-year contract at Stamford Bridge.
It was widely assumed that the 32-year-old would move to Camp Nou this summer, but he has now committed his future to Thomas Tuchel’s side.
The Spanish defender’s contract was due to expire this summer but was extended after a performance-related clause was activated.
According to The Athletic, Spaniard Azpilicueta has signed a new two year contract, keeping the full back at the club until June 2024.
🚨 Cesar Azpilicueta has today signed new 2yr deal to keep him at Chelsea until 2024. Barcelona held talks with #CFC about move but Todd Boehly has wanted to keep him since taking over & 32yo has now committed to Stamford Bridge @TheAthleticUK #FCBarcelona https://t.co/RnfkTAeCCw— David Ornstein (@David_Ornstein) August 4, 2022
After losing Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger after their contracts expired at the end of the 21/22 season, Tuchel will be pleased with Azpilicueta’s decision to extend his stay at Chelsea.
Since then, the Blues have signed Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli as a much-needed defensive reinforcement. Additionally, they are looking to bring in Brighton left back Marc Cucurella, with discussions regarding a potential transfer well underway.
It has been reported that owner Todd Boehly has been keen to keep Azpilicueta at the club since he took over from Roman Abramovich.
Another reason behind Azpilicueta putting pen to paper is the fact that his family are more than settled in England.
Since joining the club from Marseille in 2012, Azpilicueta has made 476 appearances across all competitions, chipping in with 17 goals.
Excl: Marc Cucurella is in London as expected since yesterday and he’s now currently undergoing medical tests with Chelsea. 🚨🔵 #CFC— iR Sport (@iRSport_) August 4, 2022
It’s the final step, then waiting for documents to be signed between clubs then join Chelsea.
Per @FabrizioRomano pic.twitter.com/eEkbIWXGZ1
During his time at the Bridge, he has got his hands on two Premier League titles, one FA Cup, one League Cup, two Europa Leagues and one Champions League.
He has also been capped by Spain 40 times.
Barcelona will now have to turn their attentions elsewhere as they look to add to their ranks.
The Catalan club have been busy this summer after signing Andreas Christensen, Franck Kessie, Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha and Jules Kounde amid financial troubles.
The La Liga side remain desperate in their attempts to offload midfielder Frenkie de Jong.
Manchester United have now been reportedly joined by Chelsea in the race for the Dutchman’s signature.
However, the 25-year-old’s main priority hasn’t changed, he sees his future at the Camp Nou and is not thinking about leaving at the moment.