César Azpilicueta is just one of several defenders on an expiring contract, and while we’ve largely assumed that the captain would eventually sign an extension before the end of the season, to take him into a second decade of outstanding service at the club, rumors of a potential exit have picked up steam in recent weeks.
The latest along those lines comes from ESPN who don’t really add anything new in terms of potential interest — La Liga trio of Barcelona, Atlético Madrid, Real Madrid still the ones supposedly keeping an eye on things — but they do make a claim about Azpilicueta potentially being interested in a “new challenge”.
That might sound speculative, but there’s practically nothing left for Dave to accomplish at Chelsea. And with the club likely only willing to hand out a one-year extension as is our custom for players over the age of 30 — a policy that has resulted in almost all of our modern legends finishing out their careers at other teams — it’s certainly not out of the realm of possibility that the 32-year-old might be tempted by the stability (and possibly more game-time) of a longer-term offer somewhere else.
The report does add that Azpi is “not pushing to leave”, but sometimes it’s unfortunately more about business than feelings when it comes to such things. That said, Azpi’s versatility and quality should still prove useful, so hopefully we can keep him here for a bit while yet.