Chelsea Captain Signs Contract Extension as Barcelona Admit Defeat in Transfer Pursuit
The defender’s contract in West London was extended by the Blues after the two clubs were unable to come to a definitive agreement. Cesar Azpilicueta’s contract with Chelsea has been extended, according to the team. Until 2024, the agreement preserves the Barcelona aim at Stamford Bridge. The Blaugrana had given up on securing a deal for the veteran, according to earlier reports. Along with Robert Lewandowski, who joined the club from Bayern Munich in a €50 million (£42 million/$51 million) move last month, Azpilicueta was initially a top target for the Spanish powerhouses ahead of the summer transfer season. As his contract at Stamford Bridge came to an end, Azpilicueta had reportedly shown interest in taking on a new challenge at Camp Nou. However, Chelsea made it clear that their captain would not be leaving the club.
Chelsea owner Todd Boehly, who led the Clearlake Capital consortium to a successful takeover of the club at the end of May, had a key role in making sure that Azpilicueta did not leave this summer. Barca had been in direct talks with the Blues for a number of days before Boehly intervened to insist he would not be sanctioning the Spain international’s departure. The Catalan outfit even offered to include certain first-team players in any final deal, but they have now conceded defeat in their pursuit of Azpilicueta and will look at alternative options. “We are so happy that Cesar is staying at Chelsea for a minimum of two more years,” Boehly said in a statement. “We are thrilled with our captain showing his exemplary commitment and leadership yet again. There is still so much to do together.”
“I am really happy to extend my stay at Chelsea, my home,” Azpilicueta said. “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 hands. “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.”