Atletico Madrid Securing Cesar Azpilicueta Transfer Ahead of Inter Milan

It seems Atletico Madrid is close to thwarting Inter Milan’s attempt to sign Cesar Azpilicueta, the captain of Chelsea. While Azpilicueta still has one more season left on his contract with Stamford Bridge, he has reportedly been given permission to explore other opportunities for the 2023-24 season.

Last year, Azpilicueta turned down interest from Barcelona and instead renewed his contract with Chelsea. Although Barcelona is currently in search of new right-backs, they have apparently decided not to pursue their interest in the 33-year-old defender. This opened the door for Inter, who were expected to secure Azpilicueta’s signature. It was believed that personal terms had been agreed upon, and Azpilicueta would be able to leave Chelsea for free this summer.

However, Atletico Madrid has now emerged as a strong contender to sign Azpilicueta, creating an unexpected obstacle for Inter. According to a report by 90min, Azpilicueta and his family are eager to return to Spain, 13 years after he left Osasuna to join Marseille in Ligue 1. As a result, Atletico has taken the lead in negotiations and is now considered the frontrunner to secure Azpilicueta’s services for the upcoming season.

Azpilicueta’s arrival at Atletico Madrid would reinforce their defense following the departure of Matt Doherty on a free transfer. He would also provide competition for Nahuel Molina, the Argentine World Cup winner. While there is no agreement yet between Chelsea and Azpilicueta regarding a contract termination, discussions are expected to proceed smoothly as the defender prepares to bid an emotional farewell to the Blues after spending 11 successful years with the club.

Since joining Chelsea from Marseille in 2012 for a fee of £7.6 million, Azpilicueta has made 508 appearances for the club in all competitions. This makes him the sixth-highest appearance maker in Chelsea’s history and the highest among non-English players. During his time at Chelsea, he has contributed 17 goals and 56 assists, and has won numerous titles including the Champions League, Premier League, FA Cup, Europa League, Club World Cup, EFL Cup, and UEFA Super Cup.

Despite facing competition from Reece James and Trevoh Chalobah last season, Azpilicueta remained an important figure for Chelsea, making 32 appearances across all competitions. However, the return of Malo Gusto from his loan spell at Lyon would have further limited Azpilicueta’s playing time.

As part of Chelsea’s mass exodus, Azpilicueta is set to join several other notable departures from the club including Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Edouard Mendy, Mateo Kovacic, Kai Havertz, N’Golo Kante, and Tiemoue Bakayoko.

Additionally, Mason Mount’s move to Manchester United is reportedly imminent, while Hakim Ziyech, Conor Gallagher, Christian Pulisic, and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang could also leave in the coming weeks. However, there seem to be complications with Ziyech’s proposed move to Al-Nassr due to issues that arose during his medical examination.

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