Rumour: Barcelona target Chelsea’s Cesar Azpilicueta

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Barcelona have given up hope of signing Hector Bellerin, 21, from Arsenal and are now turning their attention to Chelsea’s Cesar Azpilicueta, 26. The younger Spaniard was called into the Euro 2016 squad when Dani Carvajal, 24, suffered an injury in Real Madrid’s triumphant Champions League win in Milan recently.

In recognition of his improved form for club and country, Arsenal acted swiftly to quash speculation that the Catalans were looking to re-sign the full back who left them in 2013. With Bellerin firmly off the agenda, Barcelona are looking at Azpilicueta to fill the gap left by Dani Alves, 33, departure for Juventus.

Azpilicueta is in no hurry to leave Stamford Bridge but dropped a hint that he would be interested in a move if one of Europe’s elite clubs came in for him. “If I have to leave it would be for a club where I could develop even more than at Chelsea”, he stated recently.

Linked with a move to Athletic Bilbao last summer, the Spaniard is primarily a right back despite playing more on the left for Chelsea. Happy to do so, he is clear that he prefers his original position.

However, questions remain over last summer’s signing from Augsburg, Baba Rahman, 23. The Ghanaian didn’t impress in the seventeen appearances he made for the Blues and new boss, Antonio Conte, is reluctant to sanction the sale of Azpilicueta until he has assessed the situation in pre-season.

 

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