Thomas Tuchel believes Chelsea have thwarted Barcelona’s attempts to sign Cesar Azpilicueta after the Blues skipper sparked an extension to his Stamford Bridge contract.
helsea boss Tuchel confirmed Azpilicueta’s contract extension by one year, which was triggered by an appearance-related clause.
Barcelona expect to sign Andreas Christensen on a free transfer from Chelsea this summer, were hoping to sign Azpilicueta too – and met with Toni Rudiger’s agents this week.
However, Tuchel believes the Catalan giants won’t be able to land a treble against Chelsea defenders as the German now tips Azpilicueta to extend his stay in west London beyond the summer.
When asked about Azpilicueta’s contract extension, Tuchel replied: “Yes, I knew it was going to happen because I knew the number of games it was going to happen. It’s a good thing; This is good news for us.”
Asked if he expects Azpilicueta to play at Chelsea next season, Tuchel continued: “Yes, absolutely. We have a contract, he’s our captain, so there’s a very good chance he’ll stay.
“I knew all along that this is very likely to happen. He’s a regular with us. You know how much I rely on him and how much influence he has on this club and this group. So it’s very good for us.”
However, Denmark international Christensen is still unsigned by the end of the season and is expected to join Barcelona.
The Catalan bosses have hinted that a deal is already in place for Christensen but Tuchel has remained coy about his situation.
“We heard the rumours, we heard the same rumours,” said Tuchel.
“I don’t have any confirmation for you because I haven’t talked about it at the moment. But we heard the same rumours.”
Barca officials met with Rudiger’s agents this week but Tuchel has refused to give up hope of convincing the Germany international to devote his future to the Blues.
With Downing Street owner Roman Abramovich sanctioned, Chelsea cannot sign or sell any players under the terms of their current UK Government license.
Abramovich was sanctioned by the government on March 10, with four rival syndicates now fighting to win the race to buy the Stamford Bridge club.
The Blues are also unable to sign players for new contracts, although Azpilicueta’s extension was through a pre-existing clause.
But Tuchel still believes Chelsea could hold Rudiger once the ongoing summer takeover battle wraps up.
“I would try to meet him if I were any other club,” said Tuchel about Rüdiger.
“Nevertheless, he’s our player and I still think we have a good chance of him remaining our player once things are resolved for us.
“Our hands are tied, we can’t offer him anything or negotiate or renegotiate with his agents. But I’m still confident.”
https://www.independent.ie/sport/soccer/we-have-a-contract-hes-our-captain-so-theres-a-high-probability-he-will-stay-tuchel-on-azpilicueta-extension-41511314.html “We have a contract, he’s our captain, so it’s very likely that he’ll stay” – Tuchel on Azpilicueta’s extension