- Premier League club Chelsea have handed club captain Cesar Azpilicueta new two-year contract and pay rise to ward off interest from Barcelona
- Chelsea have been 'bullied' in the transfer market by Barcelona with the latter hijacking deals for Raphinha and Kounde
- The soon-to-be 33-year-old's extension will be seen as a major coup by the chiefs at Stamford Bridge after missing out on key transfer targets
Chelsea captain César Azpilicueta has opted to extend his stay with the Blues until June 2024, Sports Brief understands.
The veteran Spanish defender was reportedly angling for a move away from Stamford Bridge amid keen interest from Barcelona.
But it appears Azpilicueta has decided against leaving Chelsea, signing a two-year contract to extend his decade-long stint with the Blues.
Azpilicueta, who turns 33 this month, was open to joining Xavi but he was never so keen to leave Chelsea as to position himself in opposition to the club in the way that Lewandowski had done at Bayern Munich.
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According to the Football London, the Catalan giants never submitted an official bid to Chelsea for Azpilicueta, who wanted his future resolved ahead of the start of the Premier League season.
Barcelona and Chelsea have been involved in a transfer tussle this summer with both clubs having similar targets.
The Premier League club have been usurped by the Blaugrana in the said transfer tussle with Kounde, Robert Lewandowski and Raphinha all choosing Barcelona ahead of Chelsea.
Hence, the extension of Azpilicueta's contract will be deemed as a major win for Chelsea in what has been a difficult transfer window for Thomas Tuchel's charges, who have since signed three out of the many targets penciled by their German manager.
Mason Mount avails himself for captaincy role should Azpilicueta exit the club
Azpilicueta is said to be desperate to link up with Xavi's Barcelona during the ongoing transfer window in a move that could see him bring his illustrious career with the Blues to an end.
According to The Mirror, Azpilicueta has spent just under a decade at Stamford Bridge but now harbours a desire for a new challenge in the La Liga.