Cesar Azpilicueta has committed his future to Chelsea by extending his contract with the Blues until 2024.
The Chelsea captain has added two more years to his stay in west London, thwarting Barcelona’s long-running pursuit of the 32-year-old.
The Spanish full-back joined Chelsea from Marseille in 2012 and has swept the major club trophy chart since, with the 2021 Champions League and 2022 Club World Cup completing the set.
The long-serving defender automatically triggered a one-year add-on to his contract with Chelsea at the end of last term, but has now committed to a more lasting extension to his tenure at Stamford Bridge.
Boss Thomas Tuchel was believed to be determined to retain Azpilicueta in light of the departures of Toni Rudiger and Andreas Christensen, particularly given his leadership and influence at the Blues.
“I’m really happy to extend my stay at Chelsea, my home,” Azpilicueta said. “It’s been almost 10 years since I arrived and joined the club, so I really feel the love and I’m really excited for the new project we have in our hands.
“I would like to thank (Chelsea owners) Todd (Boehly) and Behdad (Eghbali) for giving me the opportunity to continue my journey at this incredible club and I am really looking forward to continuing our adventure.
“I’m a very proud captain and I hope we can share many great memories together.”
Azpilicueta’s decision to commit to Chelsea will be a major boost for Tuchel as the Blues continue to reshape both their defense and overall squad.
The arrival of Kalidou Koulibaly adds real quality, steel and we to the centre-back, but Azpilicueta’s leadership and Premier League experience remain highly prized commodities for Tuchel.
Chelsea will keep pushing to sign Marc Cucurella from Brighton, with Levi Colwill still likely to head the other way, either on loan or on a permanent basis.
The Blues are also believed to be interested in Southampton’s Kyle Walker-Peters.
Leicester’s Wesley Fofana is another target for Chelsea, but the Foxes’ valuation could prove prohibitive.
Azpilicueta’s new contract will take some pressure off the Blues’ recruitment, especially if Marcos Alonso pursues his own move to Barcelona later this summer.
“We are so happy that Cesar will stay at Chelsea for at least two more years,” said Boehly, chairman and co-owner of Chelsea.
“We are delighted that our captain is once again demonstrating his exemplary commitment and leadership. There is still so much to do together.”
Essential Football: Premier League 2022/23 season preview
The Premier League is back – with a World Cup twist in the middle – and in this special preview podcast we take a look at how the 20 teams are preparing for a mammoth campaign.
Ron Walker is joined by senior football journalists from Sky Sports Peter Smith and Olivier Yew as well as football writer and EFL pundit Dan Long to enforce the rule on new recruits, familiar faces and battles that will take place at both ends of the table.
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Third part | We go behind the scenes with Sky Sports presenter David Jones to hear his stories from the studio ahead of another blockbuster season on screen.
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