Tuchel insists he will try to convince Chelsea player to stay this summer
Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has hinted that he may not allow Cesar Azpilicueta to leave the club this summer despite admitting the defender’s potential departure.
Having fallen behind in the pecking order at the start of the season due to the emergence of Trevoh Chalobah, Azpilicueta has played a more prominent role in the second half of the season.
His versatility and experience make him a valuable squad player, but it is also quite clear that the 32-year-old is not the same player he was four or five years ago who could start twice a week at a consistent level.
Many expected that this would be the Spain international’s last season at Chelsea as his contract was supposed to end this summer.
He even had already received a two-year contract offer from Barcelona, according to recent reports.
However, Tuchel confirmed that the clause of a one-year extension in Azpilicueta’s contract has now become active.
Chelsea are also not in a situation where they could easily let go of another defender ahead of Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen’s expected departures.
Losing Azpilicueta ‘not ideal’ for Chelsea says Tuchel
“We had a lot of these talks because very genuinely it felt like he won everything after the Club World Cup, then suddenly given his personal situation, I can understand these thoughts that maybe a cycle is at its end,” Tuchel said about Azpilicueta’s possible exit (via Goal).
“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.”
Tuchel admitted that after what Azpilicueta has done for the club, he may have deserved to go to any club he wants this summer.
But the Chelsea manager is adamant that he will try to convince his captain to continue leading the team next season.
“This is what we have to find out,” the German added.
“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.
“I would hope strongly [that he can convince Azpilicueta to stay], he knows this, he knows it. We are still in the talks to find out the ideal solution.”