Chelsea players fear influential player will leave at end of season

The rest of the Chelsea squad are concerned that team captain Cesar Azpilicueta will join Barcelona on a free transfer at the end of the season, according to The Athletic.

Barcelona, the report claims, are offering the 32-year-old a three-year contract to tempt him to move the Nou Camp this summer.

Chelsea reportedly have an option to extend Azpilicueta’s contract, which expires at the end of the season, by one year, but The Athletic claims it is unclear whether they can activate the clause under the current restrictions.

The Blues had also entered negotiations with the Spain international at various points this season but were not willing to offer him as long a commitment as Barcelona.

Azpilicueta is said to keep his thought process over his future private, but there is a suspicion among his teammates that this will be his final season at Chelsea.

It is obviously a tough decision for the former Marseille star.

Barcelona reportedly offer a longer contract and an opportunity to play in his home country which may even boost his chance of making the Spain squad for the next World Cup.

On the other hand, he has been at Chelsea for almost a decade, and his family, including his England-born children, are said to be happy in London.

Interestingly, the report also mentioned that Azpilicueta has arranged for a new house to be built for his family in London.

The one thing that Barcelona may be able to offer him that Chelsea may not is regular game time.

The skipper has played a more prominent role recently, but it is also largely due to Reece James and Trevoh Chalobah’s injuries.

Regardless of his eventual decision, Azpilicueta has established himself among the club’s legends and a very successful one.