Chelsea boss Tuchel unbowed on Azpilicueta desire as Barca move sits in limbo

The defender has been outspoken in his attempts to force a move, but his coach is getting tired of the extended pursuit


Posted Saturday, July 23, 2022 by Goal.com

Chelsea boss Tuchel unbowed on Azpilicueta desire as Barca move sits in limbo

Thomas Tuchel admits he is reluctant to grant Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta's desire to depart for Barcelona, with the Blues boss stating that he has to prioritise the aims of his squad rather than individual players.

The veteran defender has been outspoken in his desire to switch to Camp Nou this summer, following Andreas Christensen out of the door in making a move to the Blaugrana.

The arrival of Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli in Chelsea's biggest purchase of the summer so far theoretically could pave the way for Azpilicueta to get his wish, but given how Tuchel still sees a role for the Spaniard at Stamford Bridge, the manager is reluctant to let him go.

What are Tuchel's thoughts on Azpilicueta's transfer future?

"It's a tough question because I am not sure if I want to give Azpi what he wants," Tuchel said, admitting that was "maybe a little bit" irked by Barcelona's insistent pursuit. "At some point it is about what we want.

"I just made the comparison about how much we fought for [Kalidou] Koulibaly, who is a national team player and roughly the same age. He is a hugely important player for Napoli but we have a Spanish international who is the captain at Chelsea. I see him maybe at the same level but Barcelona don’t see him on that level.

"So I am not sure if I want to give him what he wants as he is a huge player. We don't think so much about other clubs. The focus is on us and what we need. I said that to him and I say it to you that I understand on a personal and a career level.

"But I am not only in this role to give him what he wants. I am a manager for Chelsea who wants to do what's best for Chelsea. He doesn't like it but he understands. It is tough for him because the other club is permanently on him. On the first of September when things calm down, then he can play on his highest level."

Will Azpilicueta get his Barcelona move?

Though reports suggest Chelsea could yet cave and allow the Spaniard to head to Camp Nou, Tuchel's comments suggest the Blues may refuse to fold, particularly if Barcelona are unable to stump up the cash wanted by the club.

The Premier League outfit, despite being flush with financial clout following the Todd Boehly takeover, have no reason to accept a cut-price offer for one of their most influential players and a cornerstone of their success over the past half-decade.

Conversely, questions will be raised about with Barca can take the bar any higher, with the club's well-documented financial issues - alleviated for now by a number of high-risk moves away from the pitch - already theoretically stretched by a double raid for Robert Lewandowski and Raphinha.

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