‘I want him to stay but he feels it is the end of a cycle’ – Tuchel opens up on Azpilicueta future at Chelsea


Thomas Tuchel spoke transparently on the future of his Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta, who is a transfer target for Barcelona.

The Spanish giants are willing to offer the 32-year-old a two-year contract with an option for an extra season.

A clause in his contract meant the defender’s Chelsea deal was extended after hitting a certain number of appearances, but the club have remained in dialogue about releasing him after 10 years of service.

What has Tuchel said about Azpilicueta?

“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 admitted to reporters at Cobham .

“Then it’s a change of ownership and he played only under this owner, in this structure, so it maybe increased even his second thoughts about his situation.

“Then his extension kicked in at the same time and 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 fulfill 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.

“At some point, if you are a legend, which he is, you deserve maybe also from me and the club, a second look at it, is there is maybe an exception from the rule and we are still in this process.

“If he can not get rid of this feeling, if we have to talk about it openly, seriously and respectfully because he deserves it – we find out if he can give all that makes him special.

“I think with all the respect he can only be special if he is committed to it 100% and does not have one second little voice in his head, not one concern in his head that he should have done something differently. He is only the guy that he is only if he is fully committed because that is his foundation.

“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.”


Adding that he still hopes to convince him to stay: “I would hope strongly, he knows this, he knows it. We are still in the talks to find out the ideal solution.”

Why do Chelsea want to keep Azpilicueta?

The Spain international is regarded as a club legend and he is the only player to win a clean sweep of all available major trophies.

Furthermore, the Blues are behind on their transfer planning with a takeover that has been ongoing for almost three months.

Alongside that, they are set to lose both Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen to Real Madrid and Barcelona, ​​which Chelsea hope to navigate with Azpilicueta rather than without him.

“We have an idea [of our targets]but unfortunately the guys do not know that we have an idea and nor do the clubs, “he added. We have ideas, but we need also to find out what the ideas of the new owners are.

“Normally at this time of season you are contacting players, you are out, you get a feeling, a read, you have discussions, you have dialogue, you have feedback, you know who is committed, you find your targets, or you sign your players or you go from there to the next step.

“Because we did the step and now this is where we are. We had a core in the back three and we even have an issue with Thiago.

“He is not Benjamin Button. It seems like he is, but he’s not. He is getting older actually. It would have probably been enough to find a natural replacement for this kind of position and keep everybody else.

“Suddenly we lose two, three, three-and-a-half players at the back and this is actually concerning. It is a huge, huge challenge, given the fact that you can not act.

“Everybody else is driving from the start and you are still not finding the right gear to get your kick start. This is where we are. It is a long race, still, it is a long race but we do not give up, but it makes it a bit more complicated.

“This is what it is. We try our very best to make up for the disadvantage, but there are some things to solve.”

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