Barcelona will reportedly have to pay a transfer fee of less than €5 million to secure the signing of Chelsea defender Cesar Azpilicueta.
According to journalist Santi Ovalle, Chelsea captain and defender Cesar Azpilicueta will cost Barcelona a transfer fee of less than €5 million in the summer window.
Having joined Chelsea in the summer of 2012 from Marseille, Azpilicueta has grown into an icon at Stamford Bridge. The 32-year-old versatile defender has won every trophy possible with Chelsea and is a fan favourite at Stamford Bridge for the way he carries himself and leads the team.
Azpilicueta, though, could be on the move from Chelsea this summer as he seeks a new challenge in his career. The Spanish international would have become a free agent next month as his contract was about to expire in 2022. However, an automatic extension clause was triggered in his deal after he made a specific number of appearances in the 2021/22 campaign.
It has meant that Azpilicueta’s contract now expires in 2023, and clubs keen on signing him will have to pay a transfer fee to sign him from Chelsea this summer window.
Barcelona have been credited with a strong interest in signing Azpilicueta before next season. The Catalan giants are looking to add defensive reinforcements this summer and have already agreed to sign Azpilicueta’s Chelsea teammate Andreas Christensen on a Bosman deal. However, they are also keen on signing the Spaniard to bolster their right-back slot.
Barcelona have Dani Alves, Sergi Roberto and Sergino Dest as options in the right-back position. However, both Alves and Roberto are out of contract at the end of the month. Alves is expected to pen a new deal, but only until the end of the year, while Roberto, too, could sign a one-year extension.
However, given his injury record and Dest’s uncertain future at Camp Nou, Barcelona must sign a new right-back. Azpilicueta, to that end, has emerged as a priority target for Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez. The 32-year-old’s experience and leadership are seen as valuable characteristics, while his ability to play anywhere across the backline would make him an asset.
While Barcelona were initially hoping to sign him on a free transfer, his contract extension means they will have to shell out a certain fee now. And, as per Santi Ovalle, that fee will be less than €5 million, although any sale will depend on Chelsea’s decision. So, it remains to be seen if Azpilicueta makes his way to Barcelona this summer or stays put in London.