Chelsea have *finally* got one over FC Barcelona as their captain Cesar Azpiliceuta has reportedly penned a new contract that will keep him at the club until 2024.
It is all change at Stamford Bridge heading into the 2022/23 campaign. Chelsea have new owners, while players have been let go and brought in.
Azpilicueta does remain one constant at the football club. He has been with the Premier League side since 2012.
Signed for just £7m, Azpilicueta has been one of the Premier League’s major bargain buys over the past ten years.
The Spaniard has been their captain since 2019. His leadership and experience has proven vital over the past few seasons.
Azpilicueta will play alongside new defender Kalidou Koulibaly next season. The Senegal international has told the club’s website how long his admiration for Chelsea goes back:
“When I was younger, I used to watch the games, like when Didier Drogba came from Marseille to London and to Chelsea, it was a big step, and when they won the Champions League and he scored the penalty, it was everything on mind. So when I signed and he texted me, I was really happy.
“When some legends like him, Gianfranco Zola and John Terry text me and told me I made a good choice. I am really thankful to them. I want to show them that I will give everything for this club and can be a really important player for this team.”
Chelsea have also signed Raheem Sterling for a significant fee this summer, but they have not had it all their own way in the transfer market.
They have mainly been hampered by Barcelona’s mischief. The La Liga club brought in Andreas Christensen on a free transfer earlier this summer after his contract at Chelsea expired in July.
Barcelona also managed to find the funds to beat the Blues to sign Raphinha and Jules Kounde from Leeds United and Raphinha.
Their pursuit of Azpilicueta now looks to be over, though. David Ornstein of The Athletic revealed on Thursday afternoon that the 32-year-old has signed a new two-deal deal. This was later confirmed by Chelsea’s official website.
Ornstein notes that Azpilicueta has had ‘direct talks’ with Barcelona but he has now committed his future to Chelsea.
The report adds that Chelsea co-owner Todd Boehly was ‘determined’ to keep the defender.