NOU BEGINNING Chelsea captain Azpilicueta ‘agrees deal in principle to join Barcelona on free transfer’ after nine years at Blues

CHELSEA club captain Cesar Azpilicueta has agreed a deal in principle to join Barcelona at the end of the season, according to reports.

The Spanish defender’s Blues contract is set to expire at the end of June.Azpilicueta, 32, remains skipper at Stamford Bridge.

But his time in West London is about to come to an end, according to Calciomercato reporter Rudy Galetti.

He claims that cash-strapped Barca have struck a deal with the right-back to join Xavi and Co next term.

The Catalan giants have been eligible to negotiate with Azpilicueta since he entered the final six months of his Chelsea deal on January 1.Galetti adds that, barring any ‘sensational twists’, Azpi will be a Barcelona player next season.

The Athletic’s Liam Twomey disagrees, however, asserting that ‘nothing is decided’ yet regarding the veteran’s future.Twomey does, however, confirm Barca’s interest in signing the Blues stalwart.Azpilicueta has made 456 appearances for Chelsea since joining from Marseille in 2013.

In that time he has won two Premier League titles, the Champions League, FA Cup, League Cup and two Europa Leagues.

Xavi’s side are also interested in signing Andreas Christensen when his Stamford Bridge deal expires in June.

Thomas Tuchel’s side remain vulnerable to losing fellow defender Antonio Rudiger upon the expiration of his deal this summer.

Nana Kay

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