Chelsea boosted by Barcelona contract talks as Xavi reignites interest in Blues legend

Jason Soutar
Chelsea trio Cesar Azpilicueta, Jorginho, and Marcos Alonso during a training session

According to reports in Spain, Barcelona remain interested in Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta, who is out of contract at the end of next season.

Barcelona tried to sign Azpilicueta last summer, however, he penned a new one-year contract extension to keep him at Stamford Bridge until June 2024.

The 33-year-old has been a spectacular servant for the Blues since joining from Marseille for a measly £8million back in 2012.

However, his form this term has left a lot to be desired and there seems to be an agreement throughout the Chelsea fan base that he is no longer good enough.

Reece James’ injury problems have highlighted Azpilicueta’s vulnerability as a right-wing-back, with head coach Graham Potter desperate to recruit a new player who naturally plays in that position.

Chelsea renewed Azpilicueta’s contract during the height of their issues involving Roman Abramovich’s ownership.

They triggered an extension during a time when there were doubts over whether or not they could negotiate contracts with any player. If the club were not going through this horrifically difficult period, they may have let Azpilicueta walk.

After actively pursuing the Spanish defender last year, Barcelona are still ‘on the lookout’ to bring him to the Camp Nou, according to Spanish newspaper Sport (via Fichajes).

Blaugrana boss Xavi could be boosted by the arrival of Lyon right-back Malo Gusto, who has been linked with a move to Chelsea. If he joins, the door will surely open for Azpilicueta to leave.

Xavi does have plenty of alternatives in mind. He is keen on signing Borussia Dortmund’s Thomas Meunier or Bayern Munich’s Benjamin Pavard should Azpilicueta stay at Chelsea.

Sport have another story on the possible contract extensions of Sergio Busquets, Sergi Roberto, Hector Bellerin, and Ousmane Dembele.

Why is this relevant? I hear you cry. Well, a new Busquets contract could perhaps be a boost for Chelsea.

Barcelona have been interested in Blues midfielder Jorginho for a while now after realising his contract is expiring this year.

The La Liga giants absolutely love a free transfer these days, and Jorginho does strike me as someone who would suit them quite well as a player who is similar to Busquets.

There were rumours in November 2022 that Jorginho’s agent had met with the Barca board, however, this was later denied by the player’s representative.

Sport previously said that Barca and Italian champions AC Milan are the two sides ‘best positioned’ to land Jorginho as a free agent.

Should Busquets stay in Catalonia, Xavi will have him, Pedri, Roberto, Franck Kessie and Frenkie de Jong to choose from in that position. Surely they don’t need Jorginho…

The Italian midfielder has often said he wants to extend his Blues contract, though it is unclear whether or not the club are keen.

Barca will offer Busquets a new deal ‘as long as its financially possible’, the report states.

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