Barcelona are ‘refusing to give up on signing Chelsea duo Cesar Azpilicueta and Andreas Christensen’ on free transfers next summer, with both defenders ‘open’ to making the move
- Cesar Azpilicueta and Andreas Christensen look poised to leave Chelsea
- Both defenders are being targeted by Barcelona, who want bargain transfers
- According to reports, negotiations are now advanced with the centre backs
- Struggling Barca are refusing to give up on the deals as they look to strengthen
Barcelona remain interested in signing Chelsea’s defensive duo Cesar Azpilicueta and Andreas Christensen next summer, with both players reportedly leaning towards heading to the Nou Camp.
Azpilicueta is the club captain under Thomas Tuchel but faces the prospect of leaving for free at the end of the season, the same dilemma as Christensen. It is uncertain whether either centre back will sign a new deal.
And as a result, the door remains open for Barca boss Xavi, who is monitoring the transfer market in the hope of landing bargain deals.
Barcelona are interested in signing Cesar Azpilicueta (L) and Andres Christensen from Chelsea
Sport claim talks with Azpilicueta and Christensen have reached an advanced stage, and that they began weeks ago, before their current boss took charge.
Indeed, the progress made has been described as ‘significant’ by the same outlet.
In a boost to Barcelona, the two stalwarts are said to be open to moving to Catalonia.
Manager Xavi is on the lookout for bargain deals, with both centre backs identified as targets
However, Xavi’s arrival has had a significant impact on the club’s transfer business, with different names also identified for the two positions.
But at the very top at Barcelona, the hierarchy are said to be adamant that they will not give up on the raid on Chelsea.
Next month will be used to strengthen the struggling LaLiga giants, with their hopes of reaching the Champions League still alive. They will also use the window to try to ship out unwanted players.
This would free up room for Azpilicueta and Christensen to arrive when their respective contracts at Stamford Bridge expire next summer.
Azpilicueta’s deal, like team-mate Christensen’s, is set to run down at the end of the season
For the former in particular, his experience for both Chelsea and Spain has attracted Barcelona, and his leadership skills will also prove useful there.
As for Christensen, Sport have gone as far as saying that the switch would be almost wrapped up, if it wasn’t for Matthijs de Ligt emerging as an alternative.
Juventus centre half De Ligt is favoured more by Xavi and his coaching team, but the football operation at the club are said to be leaning towards Christensen.
Christensen’s deal would almost have been sealed, reports say, before another target emerged
Their reasoning is reportedly based around the low cost required to bring the Denmark international over to Spain, whereas De Ligt’s price tag may be hefty.
Chelsea, meanwhile, might also be braced to lose another defender, Antonio Rudiger, with Real Madrid players growing in confidence that he will join them.
Just like Christensen and Azpilicueta, Rudiger’s deal is set to expire at the end of the campaign, and Madrid are one of a host of top clubs in the race for him.
Real Madrid players are reportedly confident Antonio Rudiger will join them on a free transfer
So far, the Blues have been left frustrated during contract talks, with the 28-year-old said to be demanding double the £140,000 weekly wages his club are offering.
The Telegraph have said that Madrid are willing to stretch to his desired salary.
Madrid are willing to stump up that wage, the report adds, with the Spanish giants’ squad now believing more than ever that Rudiger will join their ranks next season.
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