Chelsea FC’s Cesar Azpilicueta has signed a new deal keeping him at the club till 2024 the club has confirmed.
Cesar Azpilicueta’s decision to stay in London deprives Xavi Hernandez of the chance to add the Spanish defender to his new-look Barcelona. The Spaniard has been linked to a move to FC Barcelona all through the summer but has decided to stay put.
Barcelona failed to submit a formal bid for the Spaniard and have missed the chance to sign the blues skipper, who turns 33 at the end of the month. Azpilicueta’s renewal will boost Chelsea’s defence as they prepare for their Premier League opener against Everton.
Reports in Spain claim that Azpilicueta had earlier informed Barcelona head coach Xavi of his decision to remain at Chelsea today and extended his contract which was set to expire next summer.
Thomas Tuchel will be pleased with Azpilicueta’s decision to stay, as he admitted to blocking approaches for the Spaniard this summer during Chelsea’s pre-season tour in a press conference.
Chelsea was open to selling the Spaniard as they slapped a price tag of around £8million on him but the coach wanted to keep his experience after losing key figures like Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen at the back.
It did not help that Chelsea missed out on targets like Matthijs De Ligt and Jules Kounde.
Azpilicueta was open to joining Barcelona, but was never keen enough to oppose Chelsea. His family is settled in London, and the Spaniard is also happy with the outcome.
Chelsea chairman, Todd Boehly said: ‘We are so happy that Cesar is staying at Chelsea for a minimum of two more years. We are thrilled with our captain showing his exemplary commitment and leadership yet again. There is still so much to do together.’
Behdad Eghbali and José E. Feliciano , co-controlling owners, said: ‘Cesar is a world-class leader on and off the pitch. He’s a Chelsea legend and exemplifies so many of the qualities and values as a player and a person we aspire to. We couldn’t be more excited for Cesar to be at Chelsea under our ownership as we continue to work to build a champion squad.’
Cesar Azpilicueta said: ‘I am really happy to extend my stay at Chelsea, my home. It is almost 10 years since I first arrived and joined the club so I really feel the love and I am really excited for the new project we have in our hand.
‘I would like to say thank you to Mr Todd and Mr Behdad for giving me the opportunity to keep my journey at this amazing club and I am really looking forward to continuing our adventure. I am a really proud captain and I hope we can share many good memories together.’