Cesar Azpilicueta will have the last word on whether or not he may join Barcelona this summer. The Spaniard is said to have struck a deal with the La Liga giants to earn £11 million per year at the Nou Camp, but the Blues have the authority to prevent a move by triggering a one-year extension provision in their captain’s contract.
When his contract at Stamford Bridge ends at the end of the season, Azpilicueta is said to have stated his wish to go, and he looks to have taken a step closer to doing so. According to AS, the 32-year-old has agreed to join Barcelona on a two-year deal when he becomes a free agent.
A bargain, on the other hand, is far from straightforward. By activating a clause in Azpilicueta’s contract, the Blues may prolong his stay in West London for another year, giving them the last say on whether he can depart this summer.
The fines placed on Chelsea and club owner Roman Abramovich, which hinder them from negotiating contracts and securing signings, have complicated matters even more. While the Blues will be trying to complete the sale of the club in order to restore some stability, it appears that Azpilicueta will be looking for a transaction to be completed so that he can decide his future.
The defender is expected to sit down with those in power and ‘negotiate his release’ once the club’s sale is completed. Chelsea is also expected to grant the defender with his “promised exit” once the club’s ownership shift is finalized.
If the Blues let Azpilicueta to leave, they will be left with a defense that is weak on the ground. Chelsea are expected to lose Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen to Real Madrid and Barcelona, respectively, once their current contracts expire.
Following the announcement that Todd Boehly is expected to complete a £4.25 billion acquisition of Chelsea, the Spaniard should have the opportunity to negotiate his future soon. The American billionaire was in attendance at Stamford Bridge for the Blues’ 2-2 draw with Wolves on Saturday.
When it comes to Azpilicueta, he will leave West London knowing that his reputation as a Chelsea icon has been cemented. During his 10-year spell at Stamford Bridge, the Spaniard has won every trophy available to him, including the Club World Cup in February, which completed a perfect sweep of trophies.