The first of three potential Chelsea exits this summer has moved ever closer after a report revealed Andreas Christensen is set to join Barcelona.
The fate of three of Chelsea’s centre-backs was always going to come to a head this summer. Antonio Rudiger, Cesar Azpilicueta and Andreas Christensen are all out of contract when the season concludes.
Christensen had drawn interest from euro giants Barcelona and Bayern Munich. ESPN claimed the Dane’s move to the Camp Nou was ‘advanced’ last week.
That was despite the 25-year-old twice giving Chelsea the impression he would pen fresh terms. Yet the contract remained unsigned, allowing overseas suitors the chance to put a pre-contract agreement to the defender.
Now, according to the Daily Mail (who cite Spanish outlet Diario Sport), Christensen’s move to Barcelona is virtually a lock.
They report the centre-half ‘will complete formalities for his move to Barcelona this week’. That comes after Christensen ‘completed the first part of his medical’ on Monday.
Christensen contract details revealed
Barcelona are claimed to have outbid Bayern Munich with Christensen to be the recipient of a five-year deal worth £5m-per-season. That equates to a weekly wage of roughly £96,000.
With Christensen’s switch to Spain edging closer, attention will now turn to the futures of Azpilicueta and Rudiger.
Losing all three would leave a giant hole in Thomas Tuchel’s rearguard. For a manager who operates with a back three, top class depth at centre-back is vital.
Azpilicueta has been strongly linked with moving to Barcelona too. The Blues reportedly hold an option to extend the Spaniard’s stay by a further 12 months.
However, ESPN reported Chelsea won’t trigger that clause out of respect to their captain if his heart is set on moving back home.
Rudiger, meanwhile, has been mentioned alongside free agents moves to Real Madrid or PSG. Man Utd are another option, per the Daily Mirror.
Of course, Christensen’s looming exit could stiffen Chelsea’s resolve when it comes to retaining Azpilicueta and Rudiger. But given the pair are free to negotiate with overseas clubs at any time, their backs are against the wall.