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Inside Cesar Azpilicueta's Chelsea contract stand-off as familiar story rings true


Long-serving Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta is locked in a contract wrangle with the Blues and could be on his way out of Stamford Bridge after almost a decade

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Chelsea’s long-standing contract policy for over 30s is threatening to undermine their bid to hang on to Cesar Azpilicueta.

Contract talks with Azpilicueta, who now has less than six months remaining on his deal and is free to negotiate a pre-contract agreement with foreign clubs, have rumbled on for months now.

The Londoners have a policy of only offering short-term contracts to players over 30.

Azpilicueta wants a long-term deal, believed to be three years, to keep him at Stamford Bridge for the rest of his career.

But it’s looking more and more unlikely that the 32-year-old will get his wish.

Join the debate! Do you think Chelsea should offer Azpilicueta a longer deal? Let us know here.







Chelsea captain Cesar Azpiliecuta is locked in a contract stalemate with the club
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Image:

Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA)

The Spaniard’s contract stand-off is eerily similar to what Brazilian winger Willian went through with the club two years ago.

His demands for a multi-year deal were rejected by Chelsea – with Willian electing to quit the club and ink a lucrative three-year deal with Arsenal as a result.

But the Blues will be loath to lose their long-serving captain.

Azpilicueta is a fitness fanatic and has had an exemplary fitness record during his time at Stamford Bridge.

The versatile defender joined the club from Marseille back in 2012 and has barely missed a game since. He’s won every honour possible at club level over the last decade and has evolved into an integral squad member, racking up over 450 appearances.

However, even that isn’t set to sway Chelsea, who are unlikely to offer anything more than the standard one-year extension.

Azpilicueta is keen to remain in the capital and talks are set to continue, with the hope that a short-term extension with a 12-month option could be enough to appease the Blues skipper.

Chelsea’s contract stalemate is Azpilicueta is just one of many defensive headaches that Thomas Tuchel is facing up to right now.






Azpilicueta has won every honour at club level during his nine-year spell at Stamford Bridge

Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger are also due to be free agents in the summer – and there are seemingly no new deals for them on the horizon.

According to reports, Barcelona are set to pounce and take advantage of the contract uncertainty surrounding the Blues defenders.

The La Liga giants are interested in persuading Azpilicueta to see out his career at the Nou Camp, but they also hold an interest in Christensen, who recently reneged on an agreement with the Londoners.

The Danish defender has also linked up with a new agency that is associated with Barcelona legend Lionel Messi in the biggest hint yet that Christensen is set to walk away from Stamford Bridge for free when his deal is up.







Azpiliecuta is still a key player for the Blues
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Getty Images)

Although Barca were also keen on Rudiger, it’s been reported that the German’s lavish contract demands were too rich for a deal to be struck.

That’s proving to be the case in SW6, too.

Rudiger has evolved into Chelsea’s main man at the back under Tuchel, but there is a huge gulf in negotiations at present – with Rudiger reportedly demanding in excess of £200,000-a-week to remain in the Premier League.

Tuchel is desperate to keep hold of his main man, but with Rudiger keen to clinch one last big payday before he enters his 30s, time is running out for a compromise to be found.

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