Joan Laporta stressed that Barcelona would focus on strengthening their defence once Raphinha, Ousmane Dembele and Robert Lewandowski have signed their new contracts.

The Barcelona president was referring to the potential signings of the two Chelsea defenders, Marcos Alonso and Cesar Azpilicueta.

There are some differences in the cases of the two Spaniards and Barcelona will initially focus all their efforts on sealing Azpilicueta’s move to Camp Nou.

The Catalans will finalise the deal when Chelsea find their captain’s replacement. However, this is not an easy task, as Azpilicueta can play in practically every position in defence.

Finding a player with his virtues and versatility will be difficult in this transfer window.

Chelsea’s stance
The new Chelsea bosses have no intention of going back on their word. They will keep the promise made by the previous owners to allow Azpilicueta leave the club.

Chelsea have tried to buy time, with their strategy being to ask for a very high figure up front, knowing that Barcelona will not meet their demands.

It is said that they are demanding more than the nine million euros that Chelsea paid a decade ago to sign Azpilicueta from Marseille.

Meanwhile, Chelsea are also trying to strengthen their defence, having placed Josko Gvardiol, Presnel Kimpembe and Jules Kounde on their radar.

Azpilicueta is not expected to leave the Blues before the club beef up their defence. Once Chelsea find a solution, Azpilicueta’s move to Barcelona is expected to be sealed.



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