Cesar Azpilicueta is set to depart Chelsea and join La Liga outfit Atletico Madrid on a two years deal as a free agent after a long spell at the West London club.
According to transfer guru, Fabrizio Romano, the Spaniard right-back is close to parting ways with the Blues after 11 seasons at the two times UEFA Champions League-winning club.
What happened between Cesar Azpilicueta and Chelsea?
The Spanish International signed a new two years deal with Chelsea last summer, but the Premier League club have given the 33-year-old defender the green light to leave as a free agent as a rating of respect for their long-serving servant.
However, Cesar Azpilicueta has been linked with a move to several European clubs, Inter Milan and FC Barcelona among others are said to be interested in his service but Atletico Madrid have won against the clubs in the race to secure the acquisition of the Blues captain.
Inter Milan identified Azpilicueta as a potential replacement for Skriniar who departed the club as a free agent to join Paris Saint Germain.
According to football insider, the long-standing Blues captain will see his stint with the Stamford Bridge outfit come to an end this summer.
The former Marseille player still has a year on his current contract at Chelsea, but the West London side are ready to permit him to go for free or for a minor fee.
After turning down Inter, he has decided that Atletico Madrid is the best place for him to end his career in Spanish football for the first time since he departed his boyhood club Osasuna for Marseille in 2010.
The 33-year-old right back will put pen to paper on a two-year deal with Diego Simeone’s side.
Cesar Azpilicueta with Chelsea.
The 5ft 10inch proficient captain has made a massive influence in West London, making 508 Chelsea appearances in all competitions.
He came after Gary Cahill as the club skipper in 2019 and was the captain that lifted Chelsea’s second Champions League title.
Cesar Azpilicueta won two English Premier League titles, FA Cup, League Cup, Champions League, and two Europa Leagues with the Blues.
Azpilicueta won Premier League championships with Chelsea under Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte, two of the 10 managers he worked under at Stamford Bridge.
Azpilicueta was not only a star on the club level, but also on the international stage, where he gained 44 caps for Spain and competed in three World Cups and two European Championships.
What’s next for Cesar Azpilicueta?
The UEFA Champions League winner will be heading to Spain as Atletico Madrid player. The club would announce his acquisition in the coming days.
The veteran is expected to leave Chelsea this summer, joining Kalidou Koulibaly, N’Golo Kane, Kai Havertz, and Mason Mount as the club’s five departing players.
Havertz signed with Arsenal, and Mount is expected to join Manchester United while Kante and Koulibaly went to Saudi Arabia.
The Blues will continue their summer roster purge by trying to trade or release other players.
In addition, Azpilicueta will now expect to add a La Liga success to his enormous list of honors.
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