Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta ‘agrees Barcelona transfer in principle’ in fresh blow

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Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta has an agreement in principle to join Barcelona when his contract expires at the end of the season, according to reports in Catalonia. The Spaniard, who was signed from Marseille way back in 2012, is a modern-day Stamford Bridge legend after winning eight trophies in west London.

He has been a prominent figure under the likes of Jose Mourinho, Antonio Conte, Frank Lampard and Thomas Tuchel, a testament to his quality and leadership.

Yet while Chelsea have remained relaxed about his contract situation, their stance may now be about to backfire.

The Blues have been expecting the 32-year-old to commit his future to the club, much like Thiago Silva did last season.

A short-term contract was supposedly under discussion but still, Azpilicueta is yet to sign on the dotted line.

In the background, Barcelona have been lurking and according to journalist Gerard Romero, Azpilicueta has now agreed terms with the Spanish giants.

It’s understood the versatile defender is now on the verge of joining Barca at the end of the season.

As of January, players within the final six months of their contracts are free to negotiate moves to European clubs.

Chelsea’s lack of urgency to tie up their skipper could now come back to haunt them.

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Tuchel recently said heading into the festive period: “I don’t see any problem here. The situation between Azpi, me and the club is very clear.

“He is our captain. He has all possibilities to stay here as long as possible and become the legend he already is. He is a fantastic captain and a fantastic player.

“If there are some weeks where he does not play so much, like in the last weeks, there are some reasons. That’s how it is. If there is any player who knows it is like this, it’s Azpi.

“He is very calm. He has everything in his own hands. I see no signs we should be worried about it.”

Chelsea could also be set to lose Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen.

Talks between the pair have broken down over wage demands.

Rudiger is believed to be close to joining Real Madrid while Christensen is attracting interest from Barcelona and AC Milan.

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