Cesar Azpilicueta is Barcelona’s number one target to bolster their defence.
The Chelsea captain has been aware of the Catalan club’s interest for some time now and would like to move to the Camp Nou.
However, as the months pass, the situation gets more complicated and at the moment it is not at all clear that the player if will end up signing for Barcelona.
His renewal clause has been activated
Firstly, there is his contractual situation. Azpilicueta’s contract expires in June, but the automatic renewal clause to keep him at the English club has already been activated after he played the required number of matches to trigger it.
He has played 32 games, and 30 would automatically activate the clause. Therefore, at this moment the defender is no longer free to leave Stamford Bridge and Barcelona are not willing to pay a transfer fee for a 33-year-old.
Talks with Chelsea
Azpilicueta has already held a meeting with the English club to discuss his future. The player wants to play for Barcelona and for that he needs the club to release him from his contract after the renewal clause has been activated. However, he also doesn’t want to lose face with Chelsea, where he has been captain for a decade. Azpilicueta wants an amicable solution and he is working on it with the club.
The Abramovich factor
A new issue that has arisen is the freezing of Chelsea’s sale due to sanctions on Abramovich. This is an added problem to the situation because if the club cannot sign players – will need all the players they have in the squad.
They can’t prevent others like Andreas Christensen, whose contract is expiring, from leaving, but they will need to keep those who are still under contract, as is the case with Azpilicueta.