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SOCCER

Azpilicueta ends Barça talk by signing new Chelsea deal

Long-serving defender César Azpilicueta has given Chelsea a huge lift by extending his stay at the London club.

Update:
UDINE, ITALY - JULY 29: Cesar Azpilicueta of Chelsea runs with the ball during the pre-season friendly between Chelsea and Udinese Calcio at Dacia Arena on July 29, 2022 in Udine, Italy.  (Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images)
Darren WalshGetty

César Azpilicueta has ended speculation that he could join Barcelona by signing a new contract with Chelsea. Under the new deal, the Spaniard will remain at Stamford Bridge until 2024. The long-serving captain had less than a year left on his previous deal with the Blues and emerged as a target for Barça.

Azpilicueta’s medal collection

Azpilicueta will not be returning to his homeland, though, after the defender agreed to remain at the Bridge for at least another two seasons. The 32-year-old joined the London club from Olympique Marseille in August 2012 and has won every major trophy during his decade at Stamford Bridge. He has won the Premier League twice, the FA Cup, League Cup, Champions League, lifted the Europa League on two occasions, the European Super Cup and Club World Cup.

The skipper 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, Chelsea chairman and co-controlling owner] and Mr Behdad [Eghbali, Blues co-controlling owner] 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.”

Azpilicueta’s decision to stay at Chelsea is a major boost for head coach Thomas Tüchel ahead of his side’s first game of the Premier League season against Everton at Goodison on Saturday.

The Spain international, who has played in a back three and as a wing-back under Tüchel, made 47 appearances last season to take his total for the Blues to a mammoth 476. Chelsea owner Todd Boehly said: “We are so happy that César 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.”

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