Chelsea coach Thomas Tuchel has spoken at length about captain Cesar Azpilicueta amid speculation the defender could leave this summer.
Barcelona have been heavily linked with a move for the 32-year-old but it’s not yet ruled out that he could continue at Stamford Bridge.
Tuchel admits talks are ongoing with Azpilicueta but did hint the club captain could still depart even though a one-year extension clause in his contract has been activated.
“We had a lot of these talks because I think it felt like he won everything after the Club World Cup so I can understand these thoughts, that maybe a cycle is at its end,
“Then there’s also a change of ownership and he played only under this owner so maybe it increased his second thoughts about his situation.
“His extension kicked in at the same time and he loves the club, he loves the challenge and he loves to be here. He is our captain, we are still in dialogue and at some point we are also selfish because we are not responsible to solve any other club’s problems or to fulfil any other club’s wishes.
“Given the fact that we lose key defenders already, it’s not the ideal scenario to think about losing Azpi, even though I can understand his personal point of view. At some point, if you are a legend which he is, you deserve from me and the club a second look at it, to see if there’s maybe an exception from the rule and we are still in this process.
“I would hope strongly [that he stays] and he knows this but we are still in the talks to find out the ideal solution.”
Source | Chelsea.
Chelsea could lose a host of defenders this summer. Toni Rudiger will join Real Madrid, Andreas Christensen is expected to sign for Barcelona and the Catalans are also thought to be keen on Marcos Alonso.