Chelsea has come up with a Three-Man Shortlist to replace Cesar Azpilicueta next season. The Spanish International is on the news for a move away to FC Barcelona this summer. He is all set to become a Free agent at the end of this season since arriving in 2012. The Experienced Full-back has spent over a decade at Stamford Bridge and he has helped the Blues to win major Silverwares in England and Europe.
Despite his role at the club, there is no agreement between Azpilicueta and Chelsea over a contract extension. The Blues mainly have several Defenders set to become free agents at the end of this Campaign. The likes of Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen and Thiago Silva will also see their contracts expire in June 2022. The Blues also have a long list of Injuries and COVID casualties to look for in their Squad.
Thomas Tuchel’s side has fallen behind in the Premier League table despite being the league leader for over a month. The German manager will look to bring some reinforcements in his current Chelsea squad, which is struggling to register wins at the moment. The Blues have dropped 9 crucial points in December and they find themselves at the Second spot behind Manchester City. On Matchday 14, Chelsea was on top of the league with 33 points but after a poor display in December, the Blues are 8 points behind the Defending Champions after Matchday 20.
Cesar Azpilicueta has been a long-serving Right-back for the Blues. Azpilicueta arrived in 2012 and went on to provide 56 assists in 450 appearances for Chelsea. His departure is certain to leave a big void in Thomas Tuchel’s squad.
Possible replacements for Cesar Azpilicueta next summer:-
- Jules Kounde
The Frenchman was on the radar of the Blues since the end of last season. Chelsea did try to secure his services over the summer but somehow it didn’t take place. The Blues were unable to agree to the fee that Sevilla was demanding. The Seville based outfit did not want to sell Jules Kounde for anything less than his release clause of around £68million.
He reportedly agreed on personal terms with Chelsea before it became apparent that a move would eventually fail. Kounde is capable of playing in a back three or at right-back when required, suggesting that he would represent the same features as Azpilicueta does at Stamford Bridge.
2. Attila Szalai
Attila Szalai is the second name to have been linked with the Blues in the past few weeks. Szalai has established himself as a key man for Fenerbahce this season. The 23-year-old has caught the attention of the Blues due to his stunning performances in his club’s back three formations.
He is also likely to demand a lower fee than Jules Kounde in the event of a January exit. He joined Fenerbahce from Apollon Limassol for just £1.8m earlier this year. However, Szalai lacks experience at the highest level and could be overlooked by Chelsea when next month’s window opens as a result of his current standing.
3. Maxence Lacroix
Chelsea may also turn their attention towards a move for Maxence Lacroix. He has emerged as one of Europe’s hottest prospects in recent years. The 21-year-old is a key man at the back for Wolfsburg and was linked with the Blues during the summer. Thomas Tuchel is reportedly a fan of Lacroix’s defending abilities and his gameplay.
Lacroix has also been mentioned in connection with Borussia Dortmund as of late, suggesting that a bidding war could soon take place to secure his long-term future. However, Wolfsburg is unlikely to sell its prized asset in the middle of the season as it will go all in to avoid relegation in Bundesliga until the end of the campaign.
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