Cesar Azpilicueta ‘convinced’ Chelsea won’t renew deal as he plans Marina Granovskaia talk

Tuchel has sympathy for Gallagher missing out on facing Chelsea in cup

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Chelsea star Cesar Azpilicueta is apparently convinced the Blues won’t renew his deal and will instead allow him to move to Barcelona at the end of the season when his contract comes to an end. And he is planning talks with director Marina Granovskaia to clarify his future.

Azpilicueta has been a stalwart for the Blues for the last decade after the club signed him from Marseille in 2012. During his time at Stamford Bridge, the 32-year-old has won the Champions League, two Europa Leagues, the Club World Cup and two Premier League titles. He has also lifted the FA Cup and Carabao Cup.

But he is no longer a first team regular and, according to Spanish publication Sport, he thinks the west Londoners will allow him to depart because of their current situation and his professionalism over the years.

Chelsea were put up for sale last month by their oligarch owner Roman Abramovich after his homeland invaded Ukraine. And there could be a squad revolution when the club eventually changes hands.

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Azpilicueta has made no secret of his desire to move to the Nou Camp and plans to speak to Chelsea chiefs to find a solution. The right-back is said to be convinced by the Barcelona project and the financial package he could get in Spain.

Barcelona have been forced to rein in the spending in recent times after being significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. And the Catalan giants also look set to land another Chelsea player for free this summer, with Andreas Christensen being tipped to move to the club when his contract comes to an end. “We have closed two signings already,” Barca president Joan Laporta revealed last month. “I can’t give names. Let’s just say one could be a centre-back and the other a midfielder.”

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Chelsea could have an enormous rebuilding job on their hands this summer if Azpilicueta and Christensen do leave the club. Fellow Blues defender Antonio Rudiger has also refused to put pen-to-paper on a new deal and has been tipped to move to a rival European powerhouse for mega-money after establishing himself as one of the best centre-backs in the world.

And a triple departure could leave Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel scrambling around to find suitable replacements. The Blues look set to qualify for next season’s Champions League as they have an eight-point cushion over fifth-placed Arsenal. And if Tuchel is still at Stamford Bridge come the start of the next campaign, he will want a defence who can cut it against the best strikers on the planet.

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