Barcelona have reportedly reached an agreement in principle with Chelsea over the transfer of veteran defender Cesar Azpilicueta. The Spaniard has been heavily courted by the Catalan giants over the last couple of months.
According to Barcablaugranes, the Spanish defender could leave Chelsea and join Barcelona in the US, where he is expected to complete his medical. Both teams are currently in the US for their pre-season tour.
According to Daily Mail, the Blues have asked for a fee of £7 million from the La Liga giants for the 32-year-old's services.
Azpilicueta joined Chelsea from Marseille in the summer of 2012 for just £7 million. He has arguably become a club legend at Stamford Bridge and has made 474 appearances in all competitions in his ten seasons with the west London club. The Spaniard has helped the Blues win two Premier League titles, an FA Cup, an EFL Cup, two Europa League titles, and a Champions League title.
The 32-year-old has already agreed personal terms with the Blaugrana and will sign a two-year contract with an option of another year.
Barcelona have enjoyed an incredible summer transfer window thus far, signing a number of top-quality players like Andreas Christensen, Franck Kessie, Raphinha, and Robert Lewandowski.
The Catalan giants are seemingly in the market for an experienced defender in a bid to reinforce their defense this season. Dani Alves left the club at the end of last season and Gerard Pique has entered the twilight stages of his career. Azpilicueta's ability to play both as a right-back and a centre-back, along with his experience, could make him a massive asset at Camp Nou.
Chelsea have identified RB Leipzig defender as ideal replacement for Barcelona-bound Azpilicueta
Chelsea will be keen to sign a versatile defender to replace Azpilicueta, who is seemingly set to join Barcelona this summer. As per Sport [via Football365], the Blues have identified RB Leipzig star Josko Gvardiol as the ideal replacement for the Spaniard.
Gvardiol joined Leipzig from Dinamo Zagreb in 2020 for €16 million, but spent the 2020-21 campaign on loan with his former club. He returned from loan last summer and immediately became a key member of the club's starting line-up. Gvardiol made 46 appearances for Leipzig in all competitions and helped the club finish fourth in the league table.
The 20-year-old's ability to play as a centre-back and full-back makes him the ideal long-term replacement for Azpilicueta at Stamford Bridge.