Chelsea captain signs contract extension as Barcelona admit defeat in transfer pursuit



Posted Friday, August 05, 2022 by Goal.com

Chelsea captain signs contract extension as Barcelona admit defeat in transfer pursuit

The two clubs were unable to reach a final agreement, with the Blues able to extend the defender's stay in west London

Chelsea have announced a contract extension for defender Cesar Azpilicueta. The deal keeps the Barcelona target at Stamford Bridge until 2024.

GOAL previously confirmed that the Blaugrana had given up on sealing a transfer for the veteran. The Spanish giants initially made Azpilicueta a priority target ahead of the summer transfer window alongside Robert Lewandowski - who joined the club from Bayern Munich in a €50 million (£42m/$51m) deal last month.

Azpilicueta was heading into the final year of his contract at Stamford Bridge and had reportedly been open to a new challenge at Camp Nou, but Chelsea made it clear that their captain is not for sale.

Why have Barcelona pulled out of a transfer for Azpilicueta?

GOAL has learned that new Chelsea owner Todd Boehly, who led the Clearlake Capital consortium to a successful takeover of the club at the end of May, had a key role in making sure that Azpilicueta did not leave this summer.

Barca had been in direct talks with the Blues for a number of days before Boehly intervened to insist he would not be sanctioning the Spain international's departure.

The Catalan outfit even offered to include certain first-team players in any final deal, but they have now conceded defeat in their pursuit of Azpilicueta and will look at alternative options.

"We are so happy that Cesar is staying at Chelsea for a minimum of two more years," Boehly said in a statement. "We are thrilled with our captain showing his exemplary commitment and leadership yet again. There is still so much to do together."

Azpilicueta reacts to new contract

"I am really happy to extend my stay at Chelsea, my home," Azpilicueta said. "It is almost 10 years since I first arrived and joined the club so I really feel the love and I am really excited for the new project we have in our hands.

"I would like to say thank you to Mr Todd and Mr Behdad for giving me the opportunity to keep my journey at this amazing club and I am really looking forward to continuing our adventure. I am a really proud captain and I hope we can share many good memories together."

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