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Barcelona Leading Chase For Chelsea Defender Also Wanted By United [Report]

Chelsea defender Cesar Azpilicueta is being sought by several Spanish clubs, according to Guillem Balague, Sky Sports’ Spanish football expert.

The news will come as a disappointment to Chelsea fans, who would be well aware of the remarkable versatility the Spaniard showed in playing both left and right back for Chelsea throughout last season.

His performances provided the Stamford Bridge faithful with some of their fondest memories from an otherwise turgid season and saw ‘Azpi’ establish himself as one of the first names on the team sheet at the London club.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 02: Cesar Azpilicueta of Chelsea gestures during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge on May 02, 2016 in London, England.jd (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Interest in the 26-year-old, which was originally strongest at Athletico Madrid, is now said to be widespread, encompassing such European powerhouses as Bayern Munich, Manchester United, PSG and Barcelona – although the Catalan giants have also been linked with Arsenal defender Hector Bellerin.

Bizarrely, Balague claims Chelsea would part with Azpilicueta for as little as £14 million, and even suggested that Barcelona thought the fee excessive.

Given the demand from such a gamut of high-spending clubs and the value placed on as versatile a defender as Azpilicueta in the modern game, such a fee seems paltry. It was just last season that Everton valued John Stones at £45 million, although given the Englishman’s performances in the second half of the season, many would now consider the fee laughable.

Moving his attention to Manchester, Balague said:

“And then, of course, there’s Manchester United now under the rule of José Mourinho. The Portuguese manager knows the player well but whether or not Chelsea would be prepared to sell Azpilicueta – at any price – to the club of their former manager and to a rival in England is another matter altogether. I very much doubt it.”

United acquiring the services of Chelsea legend Mourinho has been a sore point for Chelsea fans since the move was first rumoured so the transfer of one of the Blues most adept defenders would waste little time in adding salt to those wounds.

Rumour ranking 3 - MIGHT OR MIGHT NOT

Colm Egan, Pundit Arena

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Author: The PA Team

This article was written by a member of The PA Team.