Chelsea owner Todd Boehly reportedly convinced Cesar Azpilicueta to disregard Marina Granovskaia’s transfer pact and remain at Stamford Bridge this
Chelsea owner Todd Boehly reportedly convinced Cesar Azpilicueta to disregard Marina Granovskaia’s transfer pact and remain at Stamford Bridge this summer. The right-back had been heavily linked with a move to Barcelona but ultimately put pen to paper on a new deal with the Blues earlier this week.
According to Spanish publication AS, Azpilicueta had an agreement with former transfer chief Granovskaia to allow him to leave this summer. But the Russian has left Stamford Bridge after the exit of former owner Roman Abramovich, with Boehly taking control of talks. And the American decided he would make Azpilicueta the cornerstone of his new project as he convinced the player to stay.
Chelsea had a transfer policy under the previous regime where they would only hand players one-year contracts if they were older than 30. But Boehly appears to have abolished that rule by handing Azpilicueta a two-year deal, while also signing Kalidou Koulibaly, the 31-year-old centre-half, on a multi-year deal.
Barcelona were keen to get their hands on Azpilicueta and had reached a verbal agreement with him. But the Blues were demanding £8.5million for the Spain international before managing to tie him down to the club.
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“Chelsea asked Barcelona for an off-market price in all possible variants because they did not want to sell,” a source told AS. And Boehly’s handy work means manager Thomas Tuchel has been able to keep an influential leader who has won virtually everything there is to win during a decade in west London.
Following his decision to commit his future to Chelsea, Azpilicueta said: “I am really happy to extend my stay at Chelsea, my home. 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 [Boehly] and [co-owner] Mr Behdad [Eghbali] 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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And Boehly added: “We are so happy that Cesar is staying at Chelsea for a minimum of two more years. We are thrilled with our captain showing his exemplary commitment and leadership yet again. There is still so much to do together.”
Azpilicueta has made 474 appearances for the Blues since joining them from Marseille. And the 32-year-old will be hoping to play an important role once again this season.