Barcelona have agreed personal terms with Cesar Azpilicueta with the Chelsea defender set to be handed a lucrative salary package.
According to a report from Diario AS, Barcelona are closing in on the capture of Cesar Azpilicueta. It appears they have reached an agreement with the Chelsea defender over a two-year contract, with the player set to arrive at Camp Nou at the end of the season.
Azpilicueta has reportedly agreed a two-year contract and will be offered a hefty salary of around €13 million per season. It would make him one of the highest-paid players at Barca, who have the option to extend the defender’s contract for another year.
The veteran Chelsea defender had been one of the top targets for Barcelona due to the contract that was set to expire at the end of the season, essentially making him a free agent. But his stay at Stamford Bridge was extended by another year due to a clause in his contract that was triggered after he made a certain number of appearances this season.
The contract extension had greatly threatened Barcelona’s pursuit of the experienced centre-back. But it appears the recent completion of the takeover by the Todd Boehly consortium has helped Barcelona move swiftly and agree personal terms with the player, leaving it up to Chelsea to finalise the deal.
Given the financial toll incurred by the club, in the aftermath of sanctions by the UK Government, the new Chelsea owners may look to cash in on a few of their star players in an attempt to restore the club’s financial structure before laying down plans for the new season.
Chelsea are on the verge of losing two of their main central defenders in Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen. While the former has reportedly agreed a move to Real Madrid, Christensen could join Azpilicueta at Barcelona, provided the move goes through as planned.
Losing three key defenders could seriously hamper Chelsea’s defensive structure ahead of the next season, requiring the club to spend millions in the market in an attempt to mitigate the crisis.
The Blues have already been linked with a move for a plethora of talented defenders across Europe, including the French defensive duo of Presnel Kimpembe and Jules Kounde while Thomas Tuchel is also considering a move for Torino’s Gleison Bremer.
But the German will certainly find it difficult to replace Azpilicueta, whose experience and versatility were invaluable to Chelsea and their success in recent years.