Thomas Tuchel ready to block Barcelona move for Cesar Azpilicueta

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has admitted to becoming annoyed over Barcelona’s pursuit of club captain Cesar Azpilicueta.

Speaking to the media during Chelsea’s pre-season tour to the United States of America, manager Thomas Tuchel has given his thoughts on the future of club captain Cesar Azpilicueta, who is a transfer target for Barcelona.

Azpilicueta has been at Chelsea for exactly a decade now, having arrived from Marseille in the summer of 2012. The versatile defender has been a huge part of the great success that the Blues have achieved during this period, winning the UEFA Europa League (twice), the Champions League and the Premier League (twice), along with various other honours. 

Azpilicueta had entered the final year of his contract with Chelsea last summer, but an automatic twelve-month extension was triggered after he made a specific number of appearances in the 2021/22 season. It meant that his contract with the Blues now runs until 2023. But, the Spanish international has his heart set on an exit as he wishes to join Barcelona.

Azpilicueta has been angling for a transfer to Camp Nou for months and has reportedly agreed personal terms with Barcelona already. Not so long ago, a deal seemed to be close to completion, but it seems like things have changed in the last few days.

Chelsea, who missed out on Raphinha because of Barcelona, could lose another target in the form of Jules Kounde to the Catalans. It has led to frustrations within the Blues’ camp, with Thomas Tuchel admittedly ‘annoyed’ by the Blaugrana. And he may now be willing to block Azpilicueta’s transfer to Barcelona.

When asked if he was annoyed by Barcelona’s pursuit of Azpilicueta, Tuchel replied (h/t Sky Sports), “Maybe a little bit.” On being pushed further about the 32-year-old’s future, Tuchel added that he might not be willing to give what the Spaniard wants this summer.”

“It’s a tough question because I am not sure if I want to give Azpi what he wants. At some point it is about what we want. I just made the comparison about how much we fought for Koulibaly, who is a national team player and roughly the same age. He is a hugely important player for Napoli but we have a Spanish international who is the captain at Chelsea,” Tuchel said.

“I see him maybe at the same level but Barcelona don’t see him on that level. So I am not sure if I want to give him what he wants as he is a huge player. We don’t think so much about other clubs. The focus is on us and what we need. I said that to him and I say it to you that I understand on a personal and a career level,” the German added.

“But I am not only in this role to give him what he wants. I am a manager for Chelsea who wants to do what’s best for Chelsea. He doesn’t like it but he understands. It is tough for him because the other club is permanently on him. On September 1 when things calm down, then he can play on his highest level.”

It will be interesting to see how this story unfolds in the coming days as Azpilicueta remains keen on a move to Barcelona.

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