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Chelsea favourite Cesar Azpilicueta demands ‘showdown talks’ with Marina Granovskaia before ‘very serious’ move takes shape

Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta wants to go ‘head-to-head’ with Blues chief Marina Granovskaia after a report indicated Barcelona are making progress in their free agent pursuit.

Azpilicueta is out of contract in the summer. He is not alone in that scenario, with fellow defenders Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen also poised to become free agents.

The Blues are understood to harbour hopes of tying all three down to fresh terms. On the Rudiger front, Goal recently reported Chelsea have bitten the bullet and raised the stakes with a huge new offer.

But the latest update from Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo concerns skipper Azpilicueta.

The 32-year-old is a manager’s dream being equally adept at operating as a centre-half or full-back. He can also be deployed as a wing-back, and has extensive experience playing on the left flank despite being right-footed.

And according to Mundo, it is that versatility that has caught the eye of Barcelona boss Xavi.

Azpilicueta request hints at Barcelona possibility

The outlet (via Goal), state Xavi ‘knows everything’ about Azpilicueta with the Spaniard deemed the ‘best fit’ for what Barcelona want in the summer.

From Barca’s perspective, Mundo declare ‘very serious’ moves have already been made towards Azpilicueta. That would suggest their interest in the veteran is not fleeting.

Funds at the Spanish giant remain in short supply. That was evident by their wheeling and dealing in January with loans and free agent pick-ups for the likes of Adama Traore and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Azpilicueta will be available for nothing when the season ends, making him an even more enticing option for Barca.

Whether Azpilicueta actually wants to leave Chelsea is unstated in the piece. However, they state he has requested ‘head-to-head’ talks with Blues chief Marina Granovskaia before ‘making a final decision’.

That would suggest he is at least considering the thought of joining Barcelona and bringing his Stamford Bridge stay to an end after a decade of faultless service.

If a Chelsea contract extension is signed, Mundo declare Ajax’s Noussair Mazraoui to be an alternative target Barcelona could…

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