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Chelsea are unwilling to let Cesar Azpilicueta leave for nothing, but Barcelona believe the Blues have put an ‘excessive’ valuation on the full-back.
Chelsea had a slow start to the summer transfer window, but are now motoring towards the new season. They are closing in on the marquee signing of Raheem Sterling from Manchester City. Nathan Ake is also close to moving back to Stamford Bridge.
But the west London club have also been one of the busier clubs on the departures front.
The exits of Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen did not involve transfer fees, the defensive pair leaving as free agents.
Full-back Azpilicueta was also heading towards contract expiry until Chelsea triggered his one-year extension. Nevertheless, the Spaniard is a key transfer target for Barcelona.
Indeed, the La Liga side have been chasing Chelsea’s captain for a long time this summer without success so far.
And in a fresh change to transfer proceedings, Goal reports that Chelsea want a £7million fee for Azpilicueta.
That is the same fee the Premier League club paid Marseille to sign Azpilicueta in 2012.
However, Barcelona have reacted by claiming the fee is ‘excessive’. Blaugrana bosses, including club president Joan Laporta, will therefore to try to drive down the price tag.
Laporta has been talking with Chelsea’s new owner Todd Boehly in recent days and weeks, with Azpilicueta an important focus of those discussions.
Barcelona want Azpilicueta in on a two-year contract to offer the side vital experience and leadership both at right-back and centre-back.
Chelsea, though, would rather keep their talisman given they have lost key defenders already this summer.
On balance, however, Goal adds that Azpiliceuta fancies the move to the Camp Nou. He has a strong relationship with Barca head coach Xavi, which is playing its part.
Chelsea must keep Azpilicueta next season
The Blues have reached a key point as their defence evolves under manager Thomas Tuchel’s leadership.
Rudiger, who has moved to Real Madrid, was a key figure at the back who marshalled his team-mates well.
Christensen, who Barca have poached as they look to get Azpilicueta and Chelsea left-back Marcos Alonso too, played his part but wanted a new challenge.
It feels as though Azpilicueta’s situation and footing at the club is different to that of Rudiger and Christensen.
The 32-year-old is approaching his 10-year anniversary at Chelsea, showcasing his longevity in the team.
He has also therefore remained a key figure for several managers in that time, including Jose Mourinho, Antonio Conte and Frank Lampard.
Azpilicueta may want to leave Chelsea, but they would be wise to try to convince him to stay and enjoy a final – and hopefully fruitful – season with the Blues.
The article Chelsea frustrate Barcelona as ‘excessive’ Cesar Azpilicueta transfer fee forces Xavi to rethink deal plan appeared first on Teamtalk.com.