Cesar Azpilicueta

Todd Boehly has blocked Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta’s transfer to Barcelona this summer, according to reports.

Barca have earmarked the Spanish defender as a key target, but the Blues’ valuation is proving to be a stumbling block in negotiations.

The Spanish giants are believed to be offering a fee of around £3million for Azpilicueta, while Chelsea are demanding a figure closer to £10million.

Barcelona have already signed one defender from Thomas Tuchel’s side this summer, with Andreas Christensen making the switch to Catalonia on a free transfer after his deal at Stamford Bridge expired.

The two clubs have crossed wires multiple times this summer, as Barca beat the Blues to the signings of both Jules Kounde and Raphinha.

And the Catalan club have identified Azpilicueta as a potential target with Xavi intent on adding experience to his back-line.

But The Times have reported that Chelsea’s new part-owner Boehly is keen to keep the Spanish defender in west London ahead of the upcoming season.

The 32-year-old’s contract at Stamford Bridge was due to expire in the summer but an automatic one-year extension was triggered in March when he had made 35 appearances last season.

Azpilicueta has been hugely influential for Tuchel’s side – making 476 appearances for the Blues since his arrival from Marseille in 2012.

And the German manager was quick to reinforce the Spanish international’s importance, comparing him to Chelsea’s new recruit Kalidou Koulibaly.

Speaking last month, Tuchel said: ‘He is a national player, he is the similar age as Azpi, a hugely important player, captain for Napoli.

‘But we have a Spanish international player, captain for Chelsea and I see it on the same level but Barcelona does not see it on that level so I’m not sure if I want to give Azpi what he wants.

‘The full focus is on us and what we need and what we have in Azpi. I said to him many times that I can understand him on a personal level and career level.

‘I can understand his point of view. But I am not only in this role to give him what he wants but I am also manager for Chelsea and have to do what is best for Chelsea.’


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