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Thomas Tuchel Hands Decision to Cesar Azpilicueta Over Chelsea Future Amid Barcelona Interest

Thomas Tuchel believes Cesar Azpilicueta deserves to make a decision over his Chelsea future amid interest from Barcelona.

The club captain was set to leave Chelsea this summer at the end of the his contract but a one-year extension was triggered due to Azpilicueta reaching the required figure of appearances for a further year. 

Barcelona are showing strong interest in the 32-year-old and have tabled an offer to the defender, however Chelsea are currently unable to sell players until their takeover has been completed. 

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Xavi's side have shown confidence in convincing and completing a deal for the Spain international, meanwhile Chelsea are still hoping they can convince him to stay beyond this summer. 

Tuchel wants to keep Azpilicueta around at Stamford Bridge but won't stand in his way should he want to depart having won everything there is to win with the Blues. 

What Thomas Tuchel said

Speaking to reporters ahead of their second to last game of the 2021/22 campaign, as quoted by football.london, Tuchel admitted: "He deserves it. And I listen to my captain. He has been at this club for more than a decade, so he has this right. This is my opinion.

"He is everything Chelsea is about, and I am so, so happy he is the captain because he is humble, hard-working, a nice guy and a polite guy. I am happy that in football, it's possible a guy like this can win all the trophies. That sets the example. It sets the tone. It sets the atmosphere at a very high level.

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"This is absolutely clear, but there are more layers and levels we have to consider. It is also whether he can give all that, whether he is fully committed. If he cannot get rid of this feeling [about wanting a new challenge], we have to talk about it openly, seriously, and respectfully because he deserves it.

"We (need to) find out if he can give everything that makes him special. I think, with all the respect, he can only be special if he is committed 100% and does not have another little voice in his head, not one concern in his head, that he should have done something differently.

"He is only the guy he is when he is fully committed. That is his foundation. So this is what we have to find out. That does not mean we find it out tomorrow or today, we still have time because we are also in the privileged position where we have a contract. We have to see."

Tuchel has admitted talks have been held between the pair previously and will now continue the dialogue to learn where Azpilicueta's head is at regarding his future: England or Spain. 

He added: "We had a lot of these talks because, very genuinely, it felt like he won everything after the Club World Cup. So, given his personal situation, I can understand these thoughts that maybe a cycle is at its end. Then there's a change of ownership, and he played only under this owner in this structure, so it may have increased his second thoughts about his situation.

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"But then his extension kicked in, and at the same time, he loves the club, he loves the challenge, he loves to be here, and he is our captain. So we are still in dialogue, and at some point, we are also selfish. We are not responsible to solve any other club's problems or to fulfil any other club's wishes.

"Given the fact we lose already key defenders, it's not the ideal scenario to think about losing Azpi, even if I can understand his personal point of view. If you are a legend, which he is, you deserve maybe also from me and the club a second look at it, is there may be an exception from the rule. We are still in this process."


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