Cesar Azpilicueta on Barcelona and Bilbao's radar this summer?
Cesar Azpilicueta has been a revelation at this club since he signed in the summer of 2012. Now, after a disappointing season with Chels...
Cesar Azpilicueta has been a revelation at this club since he signed in the summer of 2012. Now, after a disappointing season with Chelsea, Barcelona and Bilbao are both reportedly preparing bids to try and lure him away from Stamford Bridge.
I say that it was a disappointing season at Chelsea and yes there were times that he was caught out or to blame for goals we conceded as part of our back four, however Cesar Azpilicueta has remained one of our most consistent performers.
Jose Mourinho was quote once as saying the he would like "Eleven Azpilicueta's in my team" due to his respect for his work rate and attitude to the game. It comes as no surprise that I believe that the Special One will also try to sign him for Manchester United.
So what of Barcelona and Bilbao's interest? Well as far as Barcelona are concerned it looks like Dani Alves is leaving the club in a move to Juventus. As a result, the La Liga Champions need to fill the void left by Alves down their right hand side and "Dave" could be the perfect replacement for them.
He has four years remaining on his current contract but you have to admit that if Barcelona come calling then the contract would mean very little and as a player you would be a fool to say no because if you did, you would spend the rest of your career regretting it.
As for Bilbao? Well, the side from the Basque region in Spain have a strict policy of only signing players of Basque decent which Azpilicueta is, so it makes sense for them to be interested. However, I cannot see the player making a decision to leave Chelsea as many people now class Chelsea as one of the biggest clubs in Europe.
"Dave" spoke to the media recently and spoke of Bilbao's reported interest and said:
"It’s always flattering when a club wants you, and I must say I’ve heard great things about Ernesto Valverde [Bilbao’s manager].
But I’m focused on the national team and on Chelsea, where I have four years of contract left and where I’m made to feel very important."
Let's hope that Barcelona look for other options because his comments would be meaningless if they did.
Looking at Antonio Conte and his current 3-5-2 formation with Italy which includes wing backs, I am wondering whether or not you believe that Azpilicueta would be comfortable in doing so and as good as Candreva was the other night against Belgium?
One thing is certain, he is one of the best one-on-one defenders in the Premier League and would be classed just as important by the new Chelsea manager. We MUST hold onto him.