Glen Johnson has named the two players that could become Chelsea’s new club captain if Cesar Azpilicueta leaves in the summer.
Azpilicueta has made nine Premier League appearances for the west London club so far this season, while also playing in all six of their Champions League fixtures.
The 32-year-old’s current contract at Stamford Bridge runs out at the end of the season and is free to sign a pre-contract agreement with foreign clubs from January 1 if he unable to sign a new deal at Chelsea before then.
According to reports, Barcelona are in advanced talks to sign Azpilicueta, with the report adding that Barca boss Xavi personally requested the deal.
Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich considers Azpilicueta as one of the most important players in the club’s history, and is reportedly already preparing a ‘a farewell with magnificence,’ for when he leaves, the report went onto say.
While Johnson doesn’t believe that Thomas Tuchel will let the Spain international leave the club, he has named Jorginho and Antonio Rudiger, whose Chelsea future is also in doubt, as the two players who could step up if he was to depart.
‘It’s a good question. First of all I don’t think Tuchel will let him go anyway. Azpilucueta’s one of those guys – it’s a strange thing to say – whereby it’s not that he’s happy to not play but he’s the sort of guy who will still do the right things when he’s not playing,’ he told Betting Odds.
‘He’ll keep the squad going and be there for everyone. Other people would just straight-up sulk and throw their toys out.
‘Even though, as I say, I don’t believe they will let him go, if they did, Jorginho or Antonio Rudiger would be good replacement captains, someone like that, someone that the other lads clearly like.
‘Rudiger I think would have a lot more to say.’