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Barcelona puts target on Chelsea captain to solve defensive problems

It has been well established that FC Barcelona are struggling financially, and will have to move some players on before they can afford to make any serious bids in the upcoming winter transfer window. However, that is not stopping the Catalan giants from targeting some big names. The latest reports have revealed that they have their eyes on Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta

The Spanish defender is a familiar figure to Barcelona’s new manager, Xavi Hernandez, who also played for Spain. After transitioning to a managerial role at the Camp Nou, Xavi has been tapping veterans to help in his rebuilding project. After saying that he will be relying on former teammates like Gerard Pique and Sergio Busquets, one of the first things that Xavi did as Barcelona manager was to bring back Dani Alves. Now, according to Marca, he is keen on signing the veteran Spain international to help fortify his defence.

Azpilicueta is under contract with the Premier League leaders until next summer, and has yet to accept the contract extension that has already been offered.

Barcelona is keen on bringing in a new right-back, with Sergino Dest failing to keep an iron grip on the position. Sergi Roberto has had some injury trouble, meaning someone like Azpilicueta could be an asset if he stays fit.

Dani Alves will be able to suit up by January, but he is not expected to be a regular starter owing to the fact that he is already 39 years old. The Chelsea captain is not a spring chicken himself at 32 , but numerous players have been proving that going beyond 30 is not necessarily the end of the line.

Chelsea can almost certainly afford to make a bigger offer than Barcelona, and with the club defending the UEFA Champions League title and currently leading the Premier League, it does not seem like a good decision to leave. Barcelona will be banking on the Azpilicueta’s desire to return home. If he does not pen a renewal before January, the Catalans can negotiate a pre-contract agreement for a free transfer by next summer. It’s a longshot, but stranger things have happened in the transfer market.


Chelsea’s Spanish defender Cesar Azpilicueta lifts the Champions League trophy POOL / CARL RECINE
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