Transfer News: Atletico Madrid target January move for Chelsea skipper Cesar Azpilicueta
According to the Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo [Print Edition] via Sport Witness (h/t The Mirror), Atletico Madrid have identified Chelsea skipper Cesar Azpilicueta as a target in the January transfer window. Their stance is despite his recent admission that stated he would only decide on his future at the end of the season.
Azpilicueta will see his current deal with the Blues expire at the end of this campaign. That means he could reach a pre-contract agreement with foreign clubs this month if he wants to move elsewhere. Atletico have earmarked him as a potential replacement for Keiran Trippier, who has joined Newcastle United recently.
Atleti are eager to finalise a move this month since they currently have a void that needs to be filled on the right side of the defence. However, with the 32-year-old having already expressed his stance on his future, it remains to be seen if they could get his signature in the winter transfer window.
We would have been very foolish to sell Azpilicueta in January even if he wanted to leave Stamford Bridge. With the injury crisis we are going through in our backline, our options are already thin, and it would not make sense for us to weaken it even further.
Reece James is out on the sideline at least for two months meaning the Blues veteran is our only option who has experience playing in a similar role. If anything, we actually need reinforcement in that area rather than a departure, so Tuchel would be wise to rebuff any approach from Los Colchoneros for the veteran right-back.
But with the Spain international having already made up his mind surrounding a move this month, we should not be concerned about it. What matters is that we should look towards renewing his current deal and extending his stay with us for more years.
The Chelsea defender has not shown any signs of decline so far. Azpi is a versatile player who doubles as a centre-back and a right-back, and thus, a new deal for him makes sense. He is a big figure in the dressing room and is our captain, after all.
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But Atletico’s interest shows that there are parties circling around the Spaniard, which means we cannot take his stay for granted. The strikers and younger defenders may be the ones grabbing headlines after wins, but it is due to Azpi’s strong leadership and availability for selection that keeps us ticking over the course of a season.
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