It always comes a time when you have to let a veteran defender go before their age catches up with them, but you really don’t want to lose a lot of experience in your defence in one summer.
Chelsea is already struggling with the loss of Antonio Rudiger this summer, but it now appears likely that they will lose another important starter after Sport reported that Barcelona and Cesar Azpiliceuta have reached an agreement about a permanent contract.
It’s thought that Chelsea will receive a fee of around €5m and he’ll sign a two-year contract with the option of one more, so there’s not a lot of money to use on a replacement either.
The Spaniard has been a key player for Chelsea in his ten seasons at Stamford Bridge and a stalwart in the team after playing in at least 40 games in every one of those years, but it could also present an opportunity for someone else in the squad to step up.
It’s also going to be fascinating to see what happens with Barca over the next couple of years as they’re throwing plenty of money at the squad, but the signings of Azpiliceuta, Aubameyang and Lewandowski are all for players on the back end of their career, so it could come crashing down if injuries or age catch up with them.
The report claims that Chelsea didn’t want to lose him and it took some convincing to let him go, but he wanted to return to Spain and it now looks set to happen over the next few days.