The last few games of the season felt like a bit of a farewell tour for César Azpilicueta despite the 12-month contract extension option that was triggered in his contract earlier this year (prior to any sanctions and restrictions), but it sounds like that departure may not be written in stone just yet.
According to the Telegraph, the captain and the club will be holding ‘more talks’ next week, after Azpi’s latest tour of international duty with Spain ends. The report claims this is in part due to the shifting landscape at the club, both behind the scenes (i.e. ownership and structural changes) and in terms of the playing staff (i.e. departures of Rüdiger and Christensen), though surely we had known about all that for a while and would’ve factored into any talks we may have had in the last few weeks.
Meanwhile, Barcelona continue to wait for Azpi with open arms and a long(er) contract, but apparently also don’t want to pay even a token transfer fee — unlike AC Milan last year in what was a carbon copy of this situation with Olivier Giroud.
Azpi’s situation is just one of the multitude of transfer and personnel tasks on our agenda this summer — no wonder Thomas Tuchel was not planning any vacation for himself! — not to mention having to undergo an ownership transition at the same time, while also dealing with the after-effects of months-long restrictions and transfer bans. But time waits for no man, and preseason starts in just about three weeks!