Chelsea stalwart, Cesar Azpilicueta, has explained why he turned down a move to Barcelona last summer.
Over the past ten years, Azpilicueta has established himself as a Chelsea legend and is currently the club’s captain.
During his protracted stay at Stamford Bridge, he was instrumental under a number of managers. However, last summer, when his contract was allowed to almost expire, he came very close to leaving the team.
The Blues did have an automatic extension option built into Azpilicueta’s deal, but out of respect to their long-serving skipper, they did not want to activate it without having the confirmation he wanted to stay.
When Barcelona came calling, offering a return to Spain, Azpilicueta’s stay was put in doubt, but he ultimately penned a new deal to stick around.
In doing so, the Spain international rejected Barcelona’s advances, deciding not to follow Andreas Christensen and Marcos Alonso in making the switch to Camp Nou.
What Azpilicueta Said
During a press conference at the World Cup with Spain, Azpilicueta has now explained how the whole situation played out.
“At Chelsea I played less than 30 games and I was already a free agent,” he said.
“It had never happened to me in my life. But the new owners arrived and they showed me the desire to stay with me.
Azpilicueta: “New Chelsea owners have changed my situation, they wanted to keep me at all costs despite contract situation — I told that to Barcelona”. 🔵🇪🇸 #CFC
“I’m sure Xavi understood my point. Also, London is my home”. pic.twitter.com/g6rdON9zbj
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) December 5, 2022
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“London is my home and my children speak English better than Spanish. When I made the decision I think Xavi understood it. If things are clear, they are understood.”
In the meantime, Azpilicueta will be going for gold with Spain at the World Cup in Qatar, and he has started two of La Roja’s three games so far.